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 a brand new electronica project, 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 othere 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.
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.