All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 (or more) and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

356

Bill Anschell: More to the Ear Than Meets the Eye

Dan McClenaghan By
Published:
Sign in to view read count
Bill Anschell: More to the Ear Than Meets the Eye Pianist Bill Anschell has carved out a fairly high profile for himself as an accompanist and arranger, most recently on vocalist Jeff Baker's vibrant Monologue (OA2 Records, 2005), and previously with his stint touring and recording as musical director for Nnenna Freelon from 1992-96. With More to the Ear Than Meets the Eye, Anschell steps out as leader on a set that showcases his penchant for forthright lyrical beauty and spontaneous chance-taking that always hits the mark.

The set, a mix of standards and six originals, is performed with two separate rhythm teams: bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer John Bishop on six of the tunes; and Doug Miller on bass and Jose Martinez on drums on the remaining five. Trumpeter/flugelhornist Thomas Marriot sits in on two and saxophonist Richard Cole sits in on three more, giving the set a mix of trio and quartet lineups.

Miller and Martinez join pianist Anschell on the opener, the classic "Night and Day," engagingly "deranged" by the pianist, with a bunch of loose-limbed trio interplay giving the familiar melody some engaging quirkiness. Anschell's "Bent" follows, with Johnson and Bishop in the rhythm behind Thomas Marriot's tangy muted trumpet on this dark-sounding, foreboding ballad. On "Crazy He Calls Me," the trio of Johnson, Anschell and Bishop sneaks into the melody before they give it a ride and bend it a bit with a smoldering improvisational interlude that pulls the theme back in at all the right moments. The Mandel/Mercer jewel gets a straightforward trio (Miller/Martinez) treatment—gentle, restrained and gorgeous. The Anschell-penned "As the Crow Flies," featuring Richard Cole on soprano sax, is a blue-toned and intense but beautiful and rhythmically challenging tune.

Bill Anschell's finely focused vision and the beauty and depth of his music make for an outstanding set by an undersung jazz artist.


Track Listing: Night and Day; Bent; Crazy he Calls Me; Emily; As the Crow Flies; Humble Origins; Alone Together; I'll Take Romance; Morning Fog; Faster Than the Speed of Mildew; At the End of the Day.

Personnel: Bill Anschell: piano; Jeff Johnson: bass; John Bishop: drums; Doug Miller: bass; Jose Martinez: drums; Richard Cole: tenor and soprano saxophones; Thomas Marriot: trumpet and flugelhorn.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Origin Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop For Jazz

Jazz Humor
Bill Anschell's Notes from the Lobby
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Blueprints
Blueprints
Origin Records
2012
buy
Figments
Figments
Origin Records
2011
buy
We Couldn't Agree More
We Couldn't Agree More
Origin Records
2009
buy
More to the Ear Than Meets the Eye
More to the Ear Than...
Origin Records
2006
buy
When Cooler Heads Prevail
When Cooler Heads...
Summit Records
2001
buy
Bill Evans Bill Evans
piano
Dave Brubeck Dave Brubeck
piano
Chick Corea Chick Corea
piano
Charlie Haden Charlie Haden
bass, acoustic
McCoy Tyner McCoy Tyner
piano
Steve Kuhn Steve Kuhn
piano
Ray Brown Ray Brown
bass, acoustic
Branford Marsalis Branford Marsalis
saxophone
Clark Terry Clark Terry
trumpet

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.