Desert Island Jazz
Debbie Poryes (2008)

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Born in Santa Monica, CA, Debbie Poryes’s early love for the piano—from Chopin to show tunes—was supplanted by Simon & Garfunkel, leading her to switch to the guitar. Her early inquisitiveness has led to a lifelong fascination with musical theory and structure, and thence to jazz standards.

In the 1970s, Debbie played all over the San Francisco Bay Area in configurations from solo piano to big band, including two summers as the pianist for Make-A-Circus, a non-profit organization that provided free shows for children in the public parks. All the time, she was studying and teaching, and doing both with and on behalf of Art Lande at his jazz school in Berkeley.

The 1980s saw Debbie in The Netherlands, in tenured positions in the jazz departments of the conservatories in Hilversum and Arnhem. She also toured Europe, performing at clubs and in festivals in Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and France.

Back in the US, Debbie continues both to teach and to study. (Lucky students can take advantage of her Steinway ‘B’, which was played by many of the greats during its time at Berkeley’s Fantasy Studios.) She plays all over the Bay Area. She records, too: she accompanied and arranged for singer Barbara Linn on her CD entitled “Smooth Road”, and in 2007, after some 20 years, released her own second recording as a leader, “A Song in Jazz”.

Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Igor Stravinsky Three Greek Ballets (Apollo, Agon, Orpheus): London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St Luke's, Robert Craft Orpheus (Movement 1) (Naxos)
# 2 Clare Fischer Just Me Ill Wind (Concord)
# 3 Tal Farlow Tal There Is No Greater Love (Verve)
# 4 Bill Evans and Eddie Costa Bill Evans and Eddie Costa Guys and Dolls (Lonehill)
# 5 John Ireland Piano Works, Vol. 2 Soho Forenoons from "London Pieces" (Chandos)
# 6 John Ireland Piano Works, Vol. 2 By the Mere from "Leaves from a Child's Sketchbook" (Chandos)
# 7 Federico Mompou Cançons i Dansas Cançons i Dansas No. 9, for Piano ("El Rossinyol—El Barretaire") (Apex)
# 8 Art Lande The Eccentricity of Earl Dant (LP) Star Eyes (Arch St)
# 9 Art Lande The Eccentricity of Earl Dant (LP) Get Me to the Church on Time (Arch St)
# 10 Herbie Hancock Takin' Off Empty Pockets (Blue Note)
         
Book Edward Aldwell and Carl Schachter, "Harmony and Voice Leading"
         
Luxury Item "My new Steinway 'B'"
Alternate Picks/Not Broadcast
Alt 1 Roy Eldridge and Dizzy Gillespie Roy and Diz I Want to Be Happy (Verve)
Alt 2 Ella Fitzgerald The Jerome Kern Songbook She Didn't Say "Yes" (Verve)
Alt 3 Ellis Larkins Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, Vol. 22 How'dja Like to Love Me? (Concord)
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