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  • Zan Stewart (2011)

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    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
    Chris Amberger
    23 Jun
    Gerald Beckett
    01 Sep
    Buzz Brooks
    28 Apr
    Jarrett Cherner
    16 Jun
    Kev Choice
    30 Jun
    Anat Cohen
    28 Jul
    Natalie Cressman
    10 Feb
    Matt Eakle
    15 Dec
    Hershey Felder
    07 Apr
    Mitchell Feldman
    18 Aug
    Mike Galisatus
    03 Nov
    Aaron Germain
    06 Jan
    Robin Gregory
    17 Feb
    Tamir Hendelman
    13 Oct
    Kasey Knudsen
    17 Mar
    Matthew Montfort
    26 May
    Dan Montgomery
    06 Oct
    Andrea Motis
    21 Jul
    Ray Obiedo
    10 Mar
    Jayn Pettingill
    17 Nov
    John Pizzarelli
    25 Aug
    Sandi Poindexter
    24 Mar
    Don Randi
    20 Oct
    David Rogers
    24 Feb
    Eric Whittington
    29 Sep
    George Winston
    04 Aug
    Lizz Wright
    09 Jun
    Jason Yeager
    02 Jun