Desert Island Jazz
Michael Wolff (2002)

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Born in New Orleans, and raised in Memphis and right here in Berkeley, California, Michael Wolff was taught blues piano by his father before beginning classical piano lessons. Precocious, he worked as a teenager with Cal Tjader, and in his early 20s went on to Cannonball Adderley’s band, where he took the piano chair previously occupied by such greats as Joe Zawinul, Victor Feldman, Bobby Timmons, Barry Harris and Junior Mance.

Long resident in New York City, he’s played with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, with his seniors such as Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter and Tony Williams, and with members of the younger generation such as Christian McBride. For five years, Michael was musical director and pianist for Nancy Wilson, and for five more was the musical director and bandleader of the Arsenio Hall Show.

These days, Michael usually performs with his “Impure Thoughts” band, which has been together since the late 90s, beginning with Alex Foster, Badal Roy, John B. Williams, Victor Jones and Frank Colon.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Count Basie The Golden Years Blues in Hoss' Flat (Pablo)
# 2 Bill Evans Trio '64 Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (Verve)
# 3 Ray Charles Genius + Soul = Jazz I've Got News for You (Rhino)
# 4 Miles Davis Kind of Blue Freddie Freeloader (Columbia)
# 5 Cannonball Adderley Phenix Stars Fell on Alabama (Fantasy)
# 6 Miles Davis In a Silent Way In a Silent Way (Columbia)
# 7 Wayne Shorter Native Dancer Ponta de Areia (Columbia)
         
Book Mario Puzo, "Fools Die"
         
Luxury Item A humidor of Cuban cigars
Alternate Picks/Not Broadcast
Alt 1 Miles Davis Nefertiti Nefertiti or Pinocchio (Columbia)
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