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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
    George Cotsirilos
    09 Feb
    Ed Klitsch
    05 Jan