Rumbler is Bill's first full ensemble jazz CD since 2006's More to the Ear than Meets the Eye. Featuring eight originals, arrangements of Monk's "Misterioso" and the Beatles' "For No One," plus a solo piano version of Ellington's "Reflections in D," Rumbler is probably the best showcase of Bill's writing to date.
Bill is joined by bassist Chris Symer; drummer Jose Martinez; guitarist Brian Monroney; and saxophonists Jeff Coffin, Rich Cole and Hans Teuber (who's also featured on alto flute). See the sidebar to check out some of the new music.
Rumbler is available for $15, shipping included; pay by Paypal or by sending a check to 20151 7th Ave. NE, Shoreline, WA 98155
Luiz is a Brazilian multi-instrumentalist and vocalist renowned for his primary role in creating the musical form Axe in his hometown of Salvador, Bahia. Axe was one of the most popular styles of music in Brazil throughout the 1990s.
Bill and Luiz were put in touch by Narlan Teixeira, a Brazilian poet and guitarist Bill met when touring Brazil in the 1990s. They sent each other compositions which were recorded by Luiz and his band (including percussionist Carlinhos Brown), minus the piano parts, which Bill recorded remotely. The result is 13 tracks comprising "Be My Guest," which are available for free downloads from Luiz's website. Luiz is not only a great vocalist and guitarist; he also writes great songs. On the sidebar are a few sample songs from the project: "Na Ilha" and "Baiao" written by Luiz, and my own "Sol Cycle."
Bill continues to regularly produce electronic tracks; still mainly a hobby, but he's in it for the long haul. Here's a sample -- his arrangement of Bobby McFerrin's "Invocation." If you like it, be sure to check out this montage from Bill's "Impulses" CD, and this piece, which is made entirely from Bill's piano, prepared with and struck by various objects.
In a move he describes as self-defense against people randomly recording and posting his more embarassing gigs, Bill has compiled some of his better videos into a YouTube Channel. Unfortunately they're far from state of the art, but they do capture some decent playing with great musicians in nice venues. Search for "Anschell" within YouTube and it will be the first entry.
And now for something completely different...
A CD so unlike Bill's others that he gave it its own page. Warning: It's not jazz! It's his electronica project, "Impulses," funded in part by King County's 4Culture.
Get the background and a sample montage here, then -- if you're so moved -- go to iTunes, Beatport or other sites to purchase downloads.
"Blueprints," with Brent Jensen on sax and Chris Symer on bass, was named one of the "Top Ten Jazz CDs of 2012" by JazzTimes contributor Chris Helm. It features nine totally spontaneous takes on jazz standards.
Reviewing the CD for allmusic.com, Ken Dryden wrote: "These three exceptional veterans are all deserving of much recognition, and this rewarding effort merits a follow-up recording."
Available through Origin Records or directly from Bill ($15, postage included; see Contact page for address). For your listening pleasure, here are a couple of sample tunes:
How Deep is the Ocean
The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article about the jazz audience, and its centerpiece was Bill's "Careers In Jazz" story. According to the WSJ, Bill's piece is "being passed among economist-bloggers as a comic case study in market dysfunction."
Here's a link to the online version; the story also ran in print.
11/14 update: "Careers in Jazz" now has drawn more than 200,000 hits on allaboutjazz.com. It can be found on many other sites as well, including translations in French and Spanish.
The 2011 Earshot Golden Ear award recipents were announced at a special awards ceremony at Tula's on April 11, 2012. Bill was given top honors in two categories: "Best Northwest Jazz Instrumentalist" (two years in a row, and his third to date), and "Best Northwest Jazz Recording" (for his solo CD, "Figments"). Thanks to Earshot, and to any and all who voted for him.
Wellstone Conspiracy (Bill joined by saxophonist Brent Jensen, bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer John Bishop), has just released its third CD. The disc includes five of Bill's original compositions, as well as two by Jeff and one by Brent, plus Bill's arrangement of the Beatle's "Fixing a Hole." That cut, along with Bill's "Pause Off," were featured as bumper music on NPR's Morning Edition program. For your listening pleasure, here they are:
Fixing a Hole
"Humble Origins" reached number 16 on the national jazz radio airplay chart.
Bill had the good fortune to have his new solo CD reviewed in JazzTimes by the always eloquent Thomas Conrad; you can read the piece here,
Meanwhile, Adam Greenberg at allmusic.com describes the project as "an excellent set."
And "Desperado" from the disc was played in a JazzTimes blindfold test for for pianist Jason Moran (Kennedy Center artistic director and MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant" recipient), who said:
This is a studied pianist—studied like... he’s not bullshitting. [laughs]... I enjoyed that. That’s bad!
Bill's first solo piano CD, released in early April on Origin Records, is now piled up in boxes clogging the arteries of his house. It's a self-recorded project, captured late at night after gigs, when his internal supervisor had already clocked out. Those sessions yielded twelve abstract, stream-of-consciousness vignettes. Six are standards; six are pop tunes from the 70s (Anschell's guilty pleasure), recognizable but thoroughly reworked. Six are ballads, and six are (quirky) uptempo tunes, one of which -- Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" -- is recorded on prepared piano (i.e., every loose object in Anschell's home studio thrown inside the piano).
The CD cover features original artwork by legendary illustrator Oscar Grillot.
Navigate to the "CDs" page to hear excerpts of all twelve tracks, read some really nice reviews, and -- if you're interested -- order a copy via Paypal. Or, if you're the old-fashioned type, you can send a check for $15 to Bill at 20151 7th Ave. NE, Shoreline, WA 98155.
Bill's "Careers in Jazz" story was the most-read piece in 2009 on leading jazz website www.allaboutjazz.com. It garnered more than 40,000 reads (the editor stopped keeping count) and generated unanticipated controversy, with subsequent postings on countless other jazz websites and a viral email presence. Humorous or slanderous? Click on the "Stories" tab to read it and decide for yourself.
July 2012 update: "Careers in Jazz" has now topped 100,000 total reads on the aaj website.
New music from Rumbler!
Captive Light (with Hans Teuber, tenor sax)
Rumbler (with Jeff Coffin, soprano sax)
For No One (trio)
Check out two nice new reviews of Rumbler:
From Be My Guest, Bill's new project with Luiz Caldas:
Bill's extended interview on Figments and more
Jazz journalist/blogger/musician Christopher Robinson conducted an in-depth interview with Bill via email. Bill discussed the philosophy behind his new solo CD project, the technical aspects of its recording process, and more general observations about the jazz world. Highly recommended; find it right here.
Read Bill's answers to "Leading Questions"
Drummer/photographer Steve Korn (who shot most of the photos on this site) has a great series profiling Northwest jazz artists. Called "Leading Questions," the column asks each featured musician to complete a long list of partial sentences about jazz and jazz life. Steve worked his magic in the photo accompanying the article, once again making Bill look far better than he does in real life.
Quick, fun reading -- check it out here.
Read Bill's Seattle Times
Sunday Arts feature,
written by Hugo Kugiya
Read Bill's Interview in Earshot Jazz, written by Lloyd Peterson.
Want to play like me? Side effects may includes nausea, dry mouth,
anal seepage, and unemployment.
Read about my practice regimen, then listen to me demonstrate it. Part of Earshot Jazz's ongoing series featuring Northwest jazz artists betraying their deepest secrets.
Click here to read it, then find the audio link on-site.