Desert Island Jazz
Mark Winkler (2010)

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It may have been inevitable that Los Angeles-born and -raised Mark Winkler would become a singer-songwriter. Like one of his aunts, his mother had been a big-band singer (she'd been known as "The Star Dust Lady", and had been an entertainer on cruises to Panama). He says "We were singing standards from the Great American Songbook", and recalls her giving him singing lessons while cooking meals later at night (it was late because she'd been out working). His two brothers didn't catch the bug, but Mark was writing stories at age seven, and wanted to be a singer from age nine.

Mark's songs have been recorded by Randy Crawford, Dianne Reeves and Liza Minelli, among others. He also co-wrote the hit "Naked Boys Singings", still running Off-Broadway after a decade. (He says "People went for the gratuitous nudity and they left humming the songs." One of one of his own musicals, "Bark" is all about dogs: he adds "They're naked, too!")

The good reception of his 2003 recording of songs all written by one of his idols, Bobby Troup, was trumped by that for 2009's "Till I Get It Right", which appeared on not a few "best-of" lists, including those of Don Albert at "Down Beat" and Christopher Loudon at "Jazz Times". Perhaps the best review is that by Jonathan Widran at "All Music Guide", which begins "Get it right? How about darn near as perfect as a spirited set of (mostly) original contemporary jazz vocals can be?"

Let's leave the last word to Mark himself. "Basically, I'm a simple guy: I like dogs, film noir, and writing songs."
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Mark Murphy Stolen Moments Stolen Moments Muse
# 2 Lorraine Feather New York City Drag You're Outa Here Rhombus
# 3 Bobby Troup Bobby Troup Lemon Twist Capitol
# 4 Shirley Horn Here's to Life Here's to Life Telarc
# 5 Julie London Julie Is My Name Cry Me a River MFP
# 6 The Manhattan Transfer Bop Doo-Wopp Route 66 Atlantic
# 7 Al Jarreau Look to the Rainbow Take Five Warner Bros
# 8 Claire Martin Make This City Ours Bye Bye, Country Boy Honest
# 9 Chet Baker My Funny Valentine Let's Get Lost Pacific Jazz
Book F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Tender Is the Night", or Robert Goolrick, "A Reliable Wife"
Luxury Item 1962 Studebaker Avanti, designed by Raymond Loewy
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