Desert Island Jazz
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  • Ray Skjelbred (2003)
    Ray Skjelbred is a Chicago native. That fact becomes readily apparent when he sits down to play piano and the sounds of the Windy City emanate from the keyboard. His inspirations are Joe Sullivan, Jess Stacy, Earl Hines, Art Hodes and the "goofy guys" --players with unique, eccentric styles such as George Zack, Cassino Simpson, Zinky Cohn, Alex Hill and "Kansas City Frank" Melrose. Still, Ray''s tastes are anything but one-dimensional. His musical heroes include figures as diverse as Charles Ives, Bing Crosby, Gene Autry and Dick Lammi. According to drummer Hal Smith, Ray''s playing is the "ultimate illustration of jazz as ''the sound of surprise.'' Although Ray was born in Chicago (and played accordion there), he didn''t become aware of jazz or take up piano until he moved to Seattle and met Johnny Wittwer, a major jazz and ragtime figure who gave Ray lessons and introduced him to public performing. Next, Ray fell in with a group of young musicians and wound up co leading the Great E.
    Pick Artist Album Song Label
    # 1 Jess Stacy Piano Solos (LP) The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise (Swaggie)
    # 2 Duke Ellington Unknown Session Creole Blues (Columbia)
    # 3 Jimmy Noone and Earl Hines Apex Blues My Monday Date (Decca)
    # 4 Earl Hines 57 Varieties (LP) I Ain't Got Nobody (CBS France)
    # 5 Spike Hughes, featuring Henry "Red" Allen, Chu Berry, Benny Carter and Coleman Hawkins Spike Hughes and His All-American Orchestra (LP) Sweet Sue (Ace of Clubs)
    # 6 Joe Sullivan Gin Mill (LP) Blues for McCoys (Pumpkin)
    # 7 Washington Phillips Denomination Blues (LP) Take Your Burden to the Lord and Leave It There (Agram)
    # 8 Sons of the Pioneers Songs of the Hills and Plains (LP) At the End of the Lane (AGM)
    Book Penguin "Contemporary American Poets", selected by Donald Hall
    Luxury Item Paper and a long-lasting pen or pencil
    Castaways by date
    Chris Amberger
    23 Jun
    Gerald Beckett
    01 Sep
    Buzz Brooks
    28 Apr
    Jarrett Cherner
    16 Jun
    Kev Choice
    30 Jun
    Anat Cohen
    28 Jul
    Natalie Cressman
    10 Feb
    Hershey Felder
    07 Apr
    Mitchell Feldman
    18 Aug
    Mike Galisatus
    03 Nov
    Aaron Germain
    06 Jan
    Robin Gregory
    17 Feb
    Tamir Hendelman
    13 Oct
    Kasey Knudsen
    17 Mar
    Matthew Montfort
    26 May
    Dan Montgomery
    06 Oct
    Andrea Motis
    21 Jul
    Ray Obiedo
    10 Mar
    Jayn Pettingill
    17 Nov
    John Pizzarelli
    25 Aug
    Sandi Poindexter
    24 Mar
    Don Randi
    20 Oct
    David Rogers
    24 Feb
    Eric Whittington
    29 Sep
    George Winston
    04 Aug
    Lizz Wright
    09 Jun
    Jason Yeager
    02 Jun