Desert Island Jazz
Ronald Davis (2009)

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Ronald Davis may see the jazz world through a photographer's lens, but the shots he takes are informed by a musician's ear.

Like so many of his contemporaries in the Berkeley School system, Ronald was exposed to jazz at an early age (playing first the trombone and later the bass, before basketball claimed him). But unlike contemporaries such as Rodney Franklin and Peter Apfelbaum (members of the 6th-Grade band which was, at the time, the youngest band to be invited to perform at the Reno Jazz festival), he didn't make music his career. Rather, he studied Visual Design at UC Berkeley, and began work in the corporate world as an in-house photographer.

Ronald struck out on his own some years later, running first a commercial photography business and currently a small design firm in Emeryville, for which his clientele runs the gamut of the Silicon Valley's best-known names. In the interim, he attended Cal State Hayward part-time, studying saxophone, until that inevitable need to make a living caused him to put education on hold.

That's only Ronald's day job though. In the evenings you'll find him in the clubs, at the festivals and at other venues photographing the likes of Patrice Rushen, Lalah Hathaway and Ledisi. As Ronald himself puts it, he has the best seat in the house.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Bob James and Kirk Whalum Joined at the Hip The Prayer (Warner Bros)
# 2 Joe Sample The Pecan Tree X Marks the Spot (Marie Laveau) (Verve)
# 3 Miles Davis Kind of Blue Freddie Freeloader (Columbia)
# 4 Gerald Albright Live at Birdland West Limehouse Blues (Atlantic)
# 5 Kenny Garrett Happy People Monk-ing Around (Warner Bros)
# 6 Phyllis Hyman The Legacy of Phyllis Hyman In a Sentimental Mood (Arista)
# 7 Rodney Franklin Love Dancin' She's True (Nova)
# 8 Michael Brecker Time Is of the Essence Arc of the Pendulum (Verve)
# 9 John Coltrane Coltrane's Sound Equinox (Atlantic)
# 10 Charlie Parker 20th Century Masters—The Millennium Collection: The Best of Charlie Parker K.C. Blues (Verve)
         
Book Paul DeVille, "Universal Method for Saxophone"
         
Luxury Item A saxophone
Alternate Picks/Not Broadcast
Alt 1 Will Downing Invitation Only When Sunny Gets Blue (Mercury)
Alt 2 Eric Marienthal Got You Covered Two-Part Invention #4 in D Minor (Peak)
Alt 3 Grover Washington jr Next Exit Take Five (Take Another Five) (Columbia)
Castaways by date
Steve Adams
30 May
Cheryl Bentyne
17 Oct
Will Bernard
11 Apr
Barbara Borden
21 Mar
Jim Butler
13 Jun
Ian Carey
21 Feb
Judy Chaikin
17 Jan
Mike Clark
10 Oct
Freddy Cole
21 Nov
Beth Custer
01 Aug
Harry Duncan
03 Oct
Kai Eckhardt
03 Jan
Lisa Engelken
26 Sep
Don Friedman
07 Nov
Roger Glenn
05 Dec
Kimberly Gordon
28 Mar
Marty Grosz
29 Aug
Alex Hahn
08 Aug
Bill Holman
28 Feb
Tommy Igoe
07 Mar
Namita Kapoor
22 Aug
  Meklit
27 Jun
Lisa Mezzacappa
24 Oct
  Najee
25 Jul
Glenn Richman
15 Aug
Alfredo Rodriguez
25 Apr
Dan Sabanovich
02 May
Grant Stewart
12 Dec
Judy Wexler
04 Apr