Bill Anschell: A Different Note Altogether

With a rhythmically supercharged bottom team of drummer Woody Williams and acoustic bassist Neal Starkey, pianist Bill Anschell squires the remainder of his fellow Atlantans-tenorman Rick Bell and Scott Sawyer-through nine tracks, most of them texturally suggestive of late ’70s jazz-rock tinged post-bop. Anschell’s own themes-“E.B.’s New Dream,” “Crabbin’,” “Stories We Hold,” “My Baby Won’t Takadimi,” “Beignet Boogie,” and “Lullaby for Sam”-reveal a strong bent for originality, while his reworkings of “Street of Dreams,” Lennon & McCartney’s “Nowhere Man,” and “Solar” are sufficient proof of his willingness to perform other people’s music, albeit in his own way. It is unfortunate that Bell is used on only two tunes, “Crabbin’,” and “Beignet Boogie,” for his urgent, expressive sound and on-top articulation work well with Sawyer’s blues-twangy, front-line guitar. A plus factor to some of this genre’s enthusiasts, however, will be the drum-favored mix on most of the tunes.