Desert Island Jazz
Al Young (2008)

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Al Young’s life journey has already been a full one, from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, where he was born, to Detroit, where he was raised, to the Bay Area, where he’s been resident for—can it be?—over four decades. Though geographically he’s traveled even more widely—to Europe, India and Australia, for example—his works have traveled further still, having been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean and half a dozen or more European languages. Back when writing didn’t pay the bills, he was variously a folk singer, lab assistant, disc jockey, medical photographer, clerk-typist and employment counselor: this jack-of-all-trades has mastered quite a few.

In the early ’70s Al was the Edward B. Jones Lecturer in Creative Writing at Stanford University. His awards, appointments and honors are too numerous to mention, including Guggenheim, Fulbright NEA Fellowship, and two American Book Awards; and his books include novels, collections of poetry, essays, memoirs and anthologies.

In 2005, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Al Young first Poet Laureate of California.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Miles Davis Kind of Blue All Blues (Columbia)
# 2 Bessie Smith Bessie Smith Devil's Gonna Get You (BBC)
# 3 Lionel Hampton Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack, "Malcolm X" Flying Home (Qwest)
# 4 Carmen McRae Carmen Sings Monk Dear Ruby (Bluebird)
# 5 Duke Ellington The Pianist Slow Blues (OJC)
# 6 Charlie Mariano Boston All-Stars Bess, You Is My Woman Now (OJC)
# 7 Sarah Vaughan Sarah Vaughan with Clifford Brown April in Paris (EmArcy)
# 8 Gene Ammons Greatest Hits, Vol. 3: The '70s Jungle Strut (Prestige)
# 9 Django Reinhardt Souvenirs Nuages (Decca)
         
Book Jelly Roll Morton and Alan Lomax, "Mister Jelly Roll"
         
Luxury Item "A time machine to take me back to what was going on in the world when my favorite recordings were made"
Alternate Picks/Not Broadcast
Alt 1 Cannonball Adderley Somethin' Else Dancing in the Dark (Blue Note)
Alt 2 The Clifford Brown-Max Roach Quintet Clifford Brown and Max Roach   (EmArcy)
Alt 3 John Coltrane Coltrane Violets for Your Furs (Prestige)
Alt 4 John Coltrane Soultrane   (Prestige)
Alt 5 Miles Davis Someday My Prince Will Come   (Columbia)
Alt 6 Stan Getz and João Gilberto Getz/Gilberto Corcovado (Verve)
Alt 7 Dexter Gordon Ballads   (Blue Note)
Alt 8 Herbie Hancock Maiden Voyage   (Blue Note)
Alt 9 Bill Henderson Something's Gotta Give   (Discovery)
Alt 10 Johnny Hodges With Billy Strayhorn and the Orchestra   (Verve)
Alt 11 Billie Holiday Compact Jazz   (Verve)
Alt 12 Billie Holiday Songs for Distingué Lovers   (Verve)
Alt 13 Eddie Jefferson Vocal Ease   (32 Jazz)
Alt 14 Rahsaan Roland Kirk Does Your House Have Lions?   (Rhino)
Alt 15 Carmen McRae For Lovers   (Verve)
Alt 16 Bud Powell Complete Verve Recordings   (Verve)
Alt 17 Sarah Vaughan Compact Jazz   (Mercury)
Alt 18 Muddy Waters Muddy Waters Blues Band with Dizzy Gillespie   (Delta)
Alt 19 Ben Webster Music with Feeling   (Verve)
Alt 20 Lester Young, Roy Eldridge and Harry Edison Laugin' to Keep from Cryin'   (Verve)
Alt 21 Various Artists MCA Presents a Sampler of Decca Jazz, 1927-1942   (MCA)
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