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Head on KeysShort Stories

Bill Anschell periodically self-publishes purely self-indulgent vignettes based on his life in the jazz world. These stories are essential reading for any aspiring musician who might unwittingly enter the field without a sense of humor or a passion for the bizarre.


Jazz Jam Sessions:  a First-Timer’s Guide became an internet phenomenon shortly after Anschell first published it. An anonymous disgruntled third party (initial profiling suggests a guitarist or vocalist) removed Anschell's byline, excerpted Section 2 (“The Musicians”), retitled it "How Jazz Works," and cast it into the cyberworld, launching an international tidal wave of "forward"s and "cc"s.  Since then it’s been read by thousands of jazz musicians, though few have any idea who wrote it.  It’s also currently posted on many jazz websites (google “How Jazz Works” to get a sampling…), including sites where it has been translated into French, Japanese, and Greek.  Read it here, as the author intended, unedited and with no overdubs.

For a reasoned, logical analysis of the unreasonable and illogical jazz world, check out Jazz Math. (pdf)

People who enjoy -- or can even tolerate -- listening to jazz are outnumbered by the musicians who want to play it.  For that reason, less than 1% of jazz artists are able to support themselves playing the music they love.  How do the rest survive? That, and much more, in “Careers in Jazz,” a story that's generated unanticipated controversy.  Humorous or slanderous -- you decide; thick skin required.  With more than 40,000 reads and a long thread of impassioned responses, "Careers in Jazz" was the #1 most read story in 2009 on www.allabout jazz.com, the leading jazz website. It's also been posted on countless other jazz sites and gone explosively viral via email.  2012 update:  "Careers in Jazz" has now topped 100,000 reads on allaboutjazz.com and was the centerpiece of a story that the Wall Street Journal ran both online and in print.


Interested in the exciting world of jazz journalism? Spend just a few minutes reading How to Be a Jazz Critic, and you’ll write exactly like the pros!

Experience the glamorous world of regional jazz nightclubs - five-star accommodations, complimentary gourmet meals, crystalline acoustics, state-of-the-art pianos, enthralled audiences, and virtuous clubowners - in Searching for Glory at the Cookin’ Cadenza.

And, for an inside look at the death-defying life of a staff musician aboard the S.S. Norway, check out There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute.

 

 



If you’d like to forward any of these stories or post them on your website, you’re welcome to do so.  I’ll send you Word documents and/or pdfs if that helps.  Please be sure to include a link to www.billanschell.com, and DO NOT REMOVE THE AUTHOR BYLINE OR COPYRIGHT NOTICE.

 

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Jazz Times  Click here to read
  feature article on Bill's

  humor and music from
  JazzTimes 2/02 (PDF)




New Jazz Etiquette Column!

A very close acquaintance of Bill is authoring a jazz-oriented advice column:  Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette and Bandstand Decorum.  Bill highly recommends it to all jazz humor enthusiasts. 

To check out Mr. P.C.'s page on Facebook, click on this link, then again on the Facebook logo.  No need to be a Facebook member, and once there you can read all the installments, become a fan (P.C.'s fans already number more than 2,000), and invite your friends to join the fold. 

You can also find each month's column with a quick search for "Mr. P.C." on www.allaboutjazz.com. 

Mr. P.C. welcomes your submissions (questions on how to behave under the most unusual and/or traumatizing jazz-related circumstances) at pcjazz1@gmail.com.  Anonymity available upon request.