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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

BILL ANSCHELL: Impulses (2013)

Updated: Sep 29, 2020

This is a rendezvous filled of an eclecticism of the genres where jazz thrones on structures honeyed as strangely aggressive

1 Wild Mushroom 3:44  

2 Gridlock 5:09  

3 In the Soup 5:18

4 For Ranga 2:11

5 The Lone Beacon 6:46

6 Mustang Sally (Mark Rice) 6:23

7 Shifting Gears 2:47

8 Le Goggier 4:24

9 The Seed 4:35

10 Amadinda Groove 2:30

11 Naima (John Coltrane) 5:12

12 Not Under My Watch 7:58

(CD 56:55) (V.F.) (E-Jazz)

Talking about electronic jazz? Why not! I do believe that's necessary to open our portal of perceptions to all kinds...well, more or less. And I have to tell you guys that I didn't dislike it. IMPULSES is Bill Anschell's 5th album. The man is a jazz pianist who rolls his bump since the beginning of the 80's. His last album is a musical rendezvous filled with an eclecticism of the genres and where the jazz thrones on structures sometimes honeyed and sometimes strangely aggressive. The 12 structures find their strength in a skillful meshing of pulsations and percussions with compulsive beatings and rolling, pulsations and organic riffs which outdistance the work from a simple album of jazz which however preserve its acid tints. Here's a review about an album of electronic jazz by someone who knows nothing about jazz but loves EM. And it's softly that Bill Anschell tries to cajole the listeners to his style which rocks it by diversities.

Leaned on notes of a pensive piano which roll in a minimalist melodic pattern, Wild Mushroom is a nice e-ballad. A kind of lunar down-tempo where some penetrating synth breezes in tones of melancholic jazz sing on a meshing of sedentary pulsations/percussions and on smooth chords of glass which are ringing for a secondary melody. Gridlock is near the phases of Herbie Hancock's androids dance with a broken rhythm which hangs on to some percussions rolling. The musical envelope is as well rich as puzzling with a crowd of tones, as organic than electronic, where the tame of sounds brings us to another level. Lost chords roam in this mishmash of typist's kind of percussions, floating as white shadows on a structure which is so closer of some jazzy psychedelic break-dance. I like it because that's very particular and that reminds me the years of madnesses of Bill Nelson on Red Noise, without the voices of course. In the Soup is a nice track all in contrast with its percussions which run wild such as some xylophone keys on acid, breaking the delicate morphic approach of a contemplative melody which auscultates our ears with lamentations eaten away by regret. I don't know jazz enough to peel the genres but let's say that For Ranga is more of an acid kind with a sound whirlwind as lively as melodious. The Lone Beacon is a superb track with a long mesmerizing structure which undulates like sea waves enlightened by a burning sunset. The percussions borrow some Caribbean airs while the synth waves, like everywhere likewise on IMPULSES, are dragging their melancholies like some breaths lost in the stratosphere. It's so beautiful!

Mustang Sally is an aggressive and untidy track where the rhythm is rough draft and sat on a meshing of pulsations/percussions and organic lamentations. A rhythm articulated by brief jerks and kicks of percussions while the big pads of organs bicker with some floating and rather incisive guitars' solos, feeding an ambience of the most eclectic where the ambient moods, the prog rock and the jazz-rock live with a stunning symbiosis. After the innocent ritornello that is Shifting Gears, which possesses quite a whole pattern of rhythm in the tribal tendencies, like on For Ranga, Le Goggier borrows a texture of old jazz for carnivals with a structure of organic rhythm as strange as a music of fair where the acrobats roam through carousels and do tricks of cheap magic. The Seed? Hum...I have a little of difficulty with these turbulent rhythms which swirl in structures of acid-jazz, stopping to embrace an ethereal passage, or a wandering melody, to restart immediately of its stormy kicks. And nevertheless, there are beautiful fragments of melodies which cry in this envelope broken by its rhythm so much rebel than unpredictable. Amadinda Groove is a nice melody. It's a slow dance with fragrances of lounge where chords of e-piano adopt the rotation of percussions and the jingling which waddle among galactic streaks, giving the track a lunar nuance. I like the version of John Coltrane's Naima. The track evolves inside a harmonious envelope which is finely torn between its soft rhythm and its evanescent ballad. One could tell to listen to some nice lunar jazz. Not Under My Watch is a track which is in the same vein as Mustang Sally. The track offers a curt and edgy rhythm which explodes of the strikings from some unbridled percussions which blast such as fireworks exploding in a too high sky and which quiets down with some fragments of mislaid melodies. At both explosive and serene, it depicts marvellously the universe all in contradiction of the acid and progressive electronic jazz from IMPULSES which lost many of its electronic spirit in the 2nd part. I like it well. It's quite new to me and I would say that I will consume it in small doses, which is segment by segment with the 1st one for starter.

Sylvain Lupari (May 19th, 2013) ***½**

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