Desert Island Jazz
Laurie Antonioli (2008)

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Bay Area native Laurie Antonioli has been immersed in music (performing, writing lyrics, and teaching) ever since she was a teenager. Her entry to jazz was via the Nellie Lutcher recordings given to her by her grandmother, and she soon absorbed Billie Holiday. College introduced her to Bird, Miles & Trane and the hard boppers, and the interactions of Jackie & Roy with Charlie Ventura’s band set the direction for her life.

Early on, Laurie guested with then-Bay Area resident Mark Murphy, and went on the road in Europe with Pony Poindexter. She was part of the fertile San Francisco jazz scene of the 1980s, appearing with Bobby McFerrin (who calls her one of his favorite singers, “intuitively musical, great sense of humor, and an inspiring improviser”) and sitting in at the Keystone Korner with the likes of Jon Hendricks, Tete Montoliu and Cedar Walton.

Largely off the performing scene for a decade while taking care of domestic duties, Laurie taught, first privately, and then at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Graz, Austria, and now at the Jazzschool in Berkeley, where she’s Director of Vocal Studies.

Another Bay Area-resident, Joe Henderson, was a great friend, and provided one of the many tunes, “Black Narcissus” to which she has written lyrics. Others include Wayne Shorter, Lee Morgan and Charlie Haden, John Pattitucci, and her Graz colleague, Fritz Pauer. Richie Beirach, with whom Laurie has recorded (music of his, lyrics of hers), calls her “a piano player’s dream.”
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Kenny Wheeler Music for Large and Small Ensembles The Opening ECM
# 2 Betty Carter The Audience with Betty Carter My Favorite Things Verve
# 3 Keith Jarrett Still Live My Funny Valentine ECM
# 4 Nellie Lutcher Nellie Lutcher and Her Rhythm Baby, Please Stop Bear Family Records
# 5 Anuar Brahem Thimar Al Hizam Al Dhahbi ECM
# 6 Nguyên Lê Walking on the Tiger's Tail Wingless Flight ACT
# 7 Joe Williams A Swingin' Night at Birdland Have You Met Miss Jones? Roulette
# 8 Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Vocal Choir Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares Pilentze Pee Elektra Nonesuch
# 9 Laurie Antonioli and Richie Beirach Transformation Exaltation Not commercially available as of Feb 2008
Book Thich Nhat Hanh, "The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching"
Luxury Item A private jet that could get me on and off the island at will
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