Desert Island Jazz
Anthony Ortega (2002)

Visit Website

A talented and advanced improviser, Anthony Ortega never received that much recognition and has been in obscurity for far too long. Ortega had his first major job with Earle Spencer's Orchestra in 1947. After serving in the Army, he was with Lionel Hampton's big band (1951-53) including for Hamp's ill-fated European tour. He played with Milt Buckner, led his own group in Los Angeles, visited Scandinavia in 1954 (which resulted in an Lp for Vantage) and then in 1955 relocated to New York. Ortega had stints with Nat Pierce (1956-58), Dizzy Gillespie, Maynard Ferguson, Paul Bley and the Quincy Jones Big Band (1960). From then on he often led his own group, moving back to Los Angeles by the mid-1960's and working with the big bands of Don Ellis and Gerald Wilson. As a leader, in addition to the Vantage album, Ortega has recorded sets for Bethlehem, Herald, Revelation (including a 1967 session that was reissued on CD by Hat Art) and Discovery (1978); the latter featured his wife Mona Orbeek Ortega on piano and vibes.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Artie Shaw Self Portrait Stardust (Bluebird)
# 2 Gene Autry 20 Greatest Movie Hits I'm an Old Cowhand (Varese Sarabande)
# 3 Sonny Rollins Way Out West I'm an Old Cowhand (Contemporary)
# 4 Frank Sinatra Collector's Series All the Way (Capitol)
# 5 Charlie Parker Charlie Parker with Strings: The Master Takes Just Friends (Verve)
# 6 George Gershwin Paul Whiteman, 16 Classic Performances Rhapsody in Blue for Piano and Jazz Band (orchestrated by Ferdie Grofé) (Crown)
# 7 Frank Sinatra Greatest Love Songs Night and Day (Reprise)
Book Benny Goodman and Irving Kolodin, "The Kingdom of Swing" (1939)
Luxury Item A Volkswagen camper
Alternate Picks/Not Broadcast
Alt 1 Paul Robeson N/A Ol' Man River N/A
Alt 2 Frank Sinatra N/A Everything Happens to Me N/A
Alt 3 Frank Sinatra N/A East of the Sun N/A
Castaways by date
Melissa Aldana
11 Mar
Ron E. Beck
29 Apr
Pascal Bokar
07 Oct
Shanna Carlson
18 Mar
Sara Caswell
25 Mar
Carlos D'l Puerto
22 Jul
Kellye Gray
15 Jul
David Hart
04 Nov
Ellen Johnson
17 Jun
Steffen Kuehn
02 Dec
Paul McCandless
08 Jul
Allison Miller
15 Apr
Melissa Morgan
29 Jul
Linda Oh
05 Aug
Dafnis Prieto
24 Jun
Jim Pugh
30 Sep
Fred Randolph
05 Feb
Harvie S
03 Jun
Jake Shapiro
10 Jun
Marcus Shelby
15 Jan
Bria Skonberg
04 Mar
Mark Soskin
20 May
Leslie Stoval
19 Aug
John Stowell
08 Apr
Toots Thielemans
02 Sep
Roseanna Vitro
26 Feb
Paul VornHagen
14 Oct
Don Was
12 Aug
Danielle Wertz
27 May
Howard Wiley
28 Oct