Richard Anstey (b.1946) is a
native Canadian, born on
the north bank of the
Assiniboine and raised in Vancouver. Coming from a
musical family he started playing alto sax as a teenager
with trumpeter Arthur Delamont’s internationally acclaimed
The Kitsilano Boys' Band, and toured to Seattle and in
British Columbia. Richard began his career playing acoustic
bass at 17 in jazz groups led by local bebop players such as
Ron Proby and Dale Hillary before becoming a member of the
Al Neil Trio at 19, along with
Al Neil was eventually considered by many to be the
finest jazz pianist to come out of Canada - including Oscar
Trio was asked to be part of the 3 day
Trips Festival at the P.N.E. Garden Auditorium in
Vancouver, and opened for Janis Joplin and Big Brother and
the Holding Company and others including the Grateful Dead,
Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Daily Flash, poet Michael
McClure and other Seattle and Bay area groups. In 2001
Anstey produced a double CD with 36 page booklet
The Al Neil Trio –Retrospective 1965-1968 and
published it on his Blue Minor Records label.
In the 1970’s
Richard performed on soprano sax with his group West
Coast Music Ensemble, and was also in Jazz Probe with Al Neil, and the
New Atlantis Houseband in 1972 and Sunship Ensemble in 1974
with Gregg Simpson, opening for Keith Jarrett at the
Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver.
In 1972 and '73 he did the
feature film scores for Byron Black’s The Holy Assassin
and The Master of Images. In 1978 he played alto
Rex Chequer’s Latin group CuBop.
Anstey moved to Israel where he did the music for the hit
weekly quiz show ‘Tic Tac’. In the 90’s he composed
incidental and theme music for various TV documentaries. He
was also a member in
Paul Clingman’s South African-Israeli pop group The
Ring. The album then recorded was released in South
Africa on CD in April 2004 by Sony and is called
Skin On Skin.
Richard moved to Munich and started an independent record label
Blue Minor Records
www.blueminor-records.com. He published
Aromatic Journey in Canada in 1999, a
stimulating yet relaxing, slow-groove ambient CD. In 1999 he
moved to Vienna and the same year the
largest library company in the world,
Sonoton Music Library, published the CD
Holy Land featuring his Israel-inspired
Middle Eastern music.
his millennium CD
2000 Years In The Footsteps Of Jesus was published
in Israel, fusing together traditional Middle-Eastern
instruments, Gregorian chant and modern electronic
instruments in an ethnic fusion.
In Austria in 2003 Anstey published his funky electronica
and jazz CD
Groovin’ On The Danube, with acid beats,
lyrical melodies and esoteric grooves from Vienna.
Anstey published the
Sunship Ensemble CD with re-release of tracks
from the 1975 C.B.C. LP
as well as previously
unreleased recordings of the 6 member jazz group in which he
played soprano sax.
The one hour documentary film
Ein unmöglicher Dialog by
ARD German TV correspondent Thomas Morawski uses eight and a
half minutes of Richie's music for the theme and all
Arabic/Palestinian scenes. The film is sponsored by UNESCO
and has premiered on German TV in 2004 and will be shown in
130 countries, as well as film festivals. The music is from
Plains of Megido track
from the CD
2000 Years in the Footsteps of Jesus.
'The Holy Assassin' and 'Master Of
Images' the concept of a 'sound movie' as a complete
organic entity in itself succeeds largely because of the
performance of composer Richard Anstey".
"Richard Anstey, bassist, has exceptional
talent and ear for his instrument. His muted, bowed, drone
effects are intensely lyrical and varied. He makes unique
contributions to the group".
Film Board Of Canada
"Richard Anstey's music for film scoring is effective at setting dramatic moods".
Suddeutsche Zeitung "Richard Anstey is a multi talent".
"Although Tuesdays event was billed as a concert it could more aptly be described as a sound and mist
environment. It was like being on the banks of the Ganges on a misty evening among thousands of
worshipping pilgrims. Yet we were seated on the
floor of the Vancouver Art Gallery listening to the
compositions of Richard Anstey".