Desert Island Jazz
Zan Stewart (2011)

Visit Website

Saxophonist and musician Zan Stewart was born into a true Hollywood family: his father, by day an accountant at film studios, was also a musician and artist; his mother was an actress; and his maternal grandmother was a playwright.

Born in Los Angeles, Zan grew up there until the family moved to Ojai, California, when he was aged 12, by which time he was already fascinated by jazz. He had begun to study piano at age five, clarinet the following year, and finally saxophone; like so many others, he was introduced to jazz journalism by Down Beat magazine.

Brought on to the staff of the LA Times by Leonard Feather, Zan wrote extensively for that paper for two decades until the turn of the millennium. In 2002 he began writing for the Star-Ledger in Newark, New Jersey, from where he's just retired and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Zan has written for that early influence, Down Beat, and for Swing Journal and Jazz Life, and has written liner notes for over 200 albums and box sets. In 1996 he was awarded the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for Journalistic Excellence.

As a musician, has shared the bandstand with Joe Magnarelli, Tardo Hammer, Rob Schneiderman, Joe Lovano and many others, and while his formal debut recording as a leader remains pending, you can check him out here at a live performance at Smalls in Greenwich Village in August 2009.

Zan is no jazz critic: on the contrary, he's one of the biggest jazz advocates.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Jon Hendricks A Good Git-Together Music in the Air Pacific Jazz
# 2 Miles Davis Workin' Trane's Blues Prestige
# 3 Thelonious Monk At the Black Hawk Worry Later (San Francisco Holiday) OJC
# 4 Ben Webster and Gerry Mulligan Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster Chelsea Bridge Verve
# 5 Duke Ellington and His Orchestra Ellington Uptown Take the "A" Train Columbia
# 6 Charlie Parker Yardbird Suite Embraceable You Rhino
# 7 Sonny Rollins Saxophone Colossus St Thomas Prestige
# 8 Miles Davis with Gil Evans Porgy and Bess Gone Columbia
# 9 Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers Jazz Messengers A la Mode Impulse
# 10 Joe Henderson Page One Recorda Me Blue Note
# 11 Tom Harrell The Time of the Sun River Samba High Note
# 12 Herbie Hancock V.S.O.P.: Live under the Sky Eye of the Hurricane Columbia
Book J. Krishnamurti, "Total Freedom"
Luxury Item A Tempur-Pedic mattress
Castaways by date
Melissa Aldana
11 Mar
Ron E. Beck
29 Apr
Pascal Bokar
07 Oct
Shanna Carlson
18 Mar
Sara Caswell
25 Mar
Carlos D'l Puerto
22 Jul
Kellye Gray
15 Jul
David Hart
04 Nov
Bruce Jenkins
09 Dec
Ellen Johnson
17 Jun
Steffen Kuehn
02 Dec
Paul McCandless
08 Jul
Allison Miller
15 Apr
Melissa Morgan
29 Jul
Linda Oh
05 Aug
Dafnis Prieto
24 Jun
Jim Pugh
30 Sep
Fred Randolph
05 Feb
Harvie S
03 Jun
Jake Shapiro
10 Jun
Marcus Shelby
15 Jan
Bria Skonberg
04 Mar
Mark Soskin
20 May
Leslie Stoval
19 Aug
John Stowell
08 Apr
Toots Thielemans
02 Sep
Roseanna Vitro
26 Feb
Paul VornHagen
14 Oct
Don Was
12 Aug
Danielle Wertz
27 May
Howard Wiley
28 Oct