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Album review: 'Rumbler'


Bill Anschell


Origin Records

Pianist and composer Bill Anschell is based in Seattle, and that's probably why you've never heard of him. "Rumbler," the new album by Anschell, a major player on the Northwestern jazz scene, should go a long way toward remedying that situation. With odd and shifting time signatures, engaging compositions, and well-chosen covers, Anschell presents a striking musical statement. He's nicely supported by the members of his trio, Chris Symer on bass, and drummer Jose Martinez, and a host of guest artists.

Guitarist Brian Monroney, the most prominent guest, contributes several styles of solos, including an unlikely rock take on Anschell's re-imagining of Thelonious Monk's "Misterioso." Jeff Coffin, Richard Cole, and Hans Teuber all contribute excellent saxophone solos, with Teuber throwing some alto flute into the mix. Jeff Busch enhances the already complex percussion on a couple of cuts. Anschell is an understated pianist — no pyrotechnics here — and sometimes that's a refreshing change. He's more likely to impress with intelligence as he does on the playfully Bach-like "Heisenberg's Fugue State."