Primary Instrument: Drums
Anthony Bianco is a drummer, percussionist and composer born in New York City, the son of a drummer and the grandson of a guitar player. Growing up in New York City he could experience the greatest sounds in jazz. He remembered seeing Elvin, Mingus, Art Blakey, Woody Shaw, Miles, Liebman, Tony Williams, Dexter Gordon, Ron Carter. This intensified his love for this music.
He got a steady gig in New York City in a warm-up band in a famous comedy club called Catch a Rising Star. It’s a legendary comic club that a lot of the great comedians came through (Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Robin Williams, Richard Belzer). The bass player on the gig was Lloyd Mair. He was a devotee of avant garde music and jazz. He knew some really interesting things about jazz. Tony learned a lot from him. Being at this club Tony played in interesting situations with Edgar Winter, Pat Benatar. In that time Tony explored his own ideas and met a lot of musicians. One became a close friend : tenor player Mac Goldsberry. Mac introduced Tony to a lot of the New York City players even though he was from Texas. Through him Tony played and recorded with Ed Schuller, Herb Robertson and Charlie Elgart. He started to write music at that time and made a recording with John Hart on guitar. At the same time he hooked up with (through Goldsberry) the singer, writer, jazz musician and poet Bob Lennox and his son Adam. Through Adam he first met Dave Liebman. They did a record and gig doing progressive rock music. At this time he also did a recording with Anthony Jackson, the legendary electric bass player and started to play more free jazz. But things in New York for him weren’t really going well. Tony met some musicians from the University of Miami (Mike Gillis, legendary guitar player) and went to Japan for a few months with them. On coming back to the U.S. one of the teachers from the University invited Tony to come to Miami. Dave Liebmann suggests to Tony to move to Berlin where some of his mates went to live and play jazz (Lennox, Goldsberry). Liebman said that he needed to get out of NYC to see himself.
Tony moved to Berlin in 1991 and started to work with Alex von Schlippenbach and his wife Aki Takase, and Gerd Dudek. He had an opportunity to play with Reggie Workman on a Schlippenbach gig and learned more about the European free improv scene. At the same time Tony worked with the late legendary bass player Jay Oliver who influenced him in some rhythmic concepts and attitude. He also worked with the late gypsey guitarist Costa Lucas. His rhythmic concepts really took a turn when he worked with Hans Hartman (bass and stick player) and Turkish percussionist Mesut Ali.
Tony lived in Berlin until 1995, returned to New York for a few months, then joined his wife in London. He met Loz Speyer who got him a drum set and introduced Tony to a lot of the straighter players. He met Alex McGuire who introduced him to Elton Dean, from where he met the rest of the free scene. He met Paul Dunmall played and recorded some great music together. He came up with a project called Freebeat with Elton Dean and sound engineer, Jon Wilkinson. It was a concept of playing through time signatures but playing also free through it. These ideas interested Dave Liebman. He recorded a similar but different project with Liebmann in Berlin (2003). The CD In a Western Sense handles some of these same concepts.
Tony moved to London in 1996 and played and recorded with Paul Dunmall, Elton Dean, Simon Picard, Paul Rutherford, Keith Tippett, Paul Rogers, Marcio Matthos and John Edwards. Recently he played a memorable concert at The Vortex Jazz Club with Dave Liebmann and reedist Evan Parker.
He also meet the band that played In a Western Sense : Zoe Rahman, Carlos Lopez-Real and Oli Hayhurst. Tony Bianco has the need to combine the sounds of straight and free jazz. It is part of his instinct : Reason and chaos, chaos and reason.
Source: Ana Isabel Ordonez