Video Review: Paul Bollenback, Pat Bianchi and Byron “Wookie” Landham perform and offer in-depth insights into playing as a high level organ trio by Az Samad

By Az Samad

I still remember some of my earliest experiences playing in a band. So much of it was learning on the job. I would either be loud, too soft or too timid.

Playing in a rhythm section is hard work especially in jazz settings where so much of it relies on interacting and listening closely to everyone playing.

This masterclass by Paul Bollenback, Pat Bianchi and Byron “Wookie” Landham is a valuable document for musicians who want to improve their ensemble playing.

As I watched the video, I typed many notes and important points for me to work on. The most important thing is that this is not theory but insights from a real working jazz trio. That makes it even more valuable.

In the past, this kind of masterclass would probably be experienced by music college or university students who were lucky enough to be in the touring circuit of musicians of this caliber.

For me, the best of the video is hearing each musician describing their thought process after the musical demonstration. Not only are we lucky to be able to watch them perform, but we also get to hear each musician’s personal approach.

This video is probably not for beginners. This would benefit intermediate and advanced players more because of the topic discussed. That being said, for beginners who are curious about the finer details of jazz performance, this might be a video that’s worth getting and revisiting every few months over the years.

In conclusion, I’m grateful that this video exists & think many musicians would benefit from watching this. The overall tone and presentation is very casual and flowing, as jazz is.

Pros: A lot of good insights and concepts in one video.

Cons: Some of the material might be abstract for beginners to digest.

TLDR: A valuable video for jazz musicians who want to improve their performance skills in an interactive band setting.

Paul Bollenback, Pat Bianchi and Byron "Wookie" Landham perform and offer in-depth insights into playing as a high level organ trio
February 2, 2021

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