356

Bill Anschell: More to the Ear Than Meets the Eye

Dan McClenaghan By

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

CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz Humor
Bill Anschell's Notes from the Lobby
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
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
Woody Shaw Woody Shaw
trumpet
Fred Hersch Fred Hersch
piano
Jason Moran Jason Moran
piano

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Live In New York" CD/LP/Track Review Live In New York
by John Sharpe
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "Meditations on Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Meditations on Freedom
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: January 16, 2017
Read "Bring Joy" CD/LP/Track Review Bring Joy
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "Away With You" CD/LP/Track Review Away With You
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald" CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "Havana Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Havana Blue
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 13, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!