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Bill Anschell: Figments

Bill Evans’ Alone is the default paradigm for introspective solo piano recordings. Evans was actually in Webster Hall in New York (capacity 2,500) when he recorded it, but he sounds exceedingly lonely. Bill Anschell recorded Figments himself, after gigs, alone in his home late at night. Anschell does not sound like Evans, but the deep, rapt atmosphere of personal spiritual inquiry on Figments is one that Evans would have understood.

The opening track seems an improbable choice: “My Heart Belongs to Daddy.” But any viable snatch of melody can initiate a stream of creative consciousness if it is late enough at night and a true improviser is willing (or tired enough) to let go. Cole Porter’s teasing little song, out of character as a formal pattern, is occasionally audible within the open designs that Anschell arrays on the night air.

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