Desert Island Jazz
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  • Gildo Mahones (2013)

    (Photo by Brooke Anderson)

    Native New Yorker Gildo Mahones was in the right place at the right time when the bebop revolution began, playing as a rising young pianist alongside Percy Heath and Kenny Clarke at Minton's Playhouse with just about everyone who hadn't been drafted. So he ended up playing with Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis when he was barely into his 20s.

    After Gildo's own stint in the military ended in 1953, he was part of Lester Young's band for three years. In the late 1950s, he was a member of the forward-looking group The Jazz Modes, which featured the unusual—perhaps unique—front line of tenor saxophone (Charlie Rouse) and French Horn (Julius Watkins); others who rotated through the group included bassists Oscar Pettiford and Paul Chambers and drummer Arthur Taylor.

    Then came five years with Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. When Jon Hendricks did his "Evolution of the Blues Song" at the 1960 Monterey Jazz Festival, Gildo was right there.

    Gildo freelanced around New York City, playing with the likes of James Moody, Frank Wess, and Sonny Stitt, and in the 1960s appeared on strong sessions with Kenny Burrell, Ted Curson, and Booker Ervin.

    After moving to Southern California, Gildo stayed busy doing his own thing, playing with just about everybody, and, notably, backing singers such as Lou Rawls, Jimmy Witherspoon and Lorez Alexandria. He also has recordings under his own name on Prestige and Venus.

    This wonderfully swinging soulful player relocated to Oakland a few years ago in order to be with family.
    Pick Artist Album Song Label
    # 1 Lester Young The Ultimate Lester Young Somebody Loves Me Verve
    # 2 The Jazz Modes Les Jazz Modes Stallion Dawn
    # 3 Charlie Parker Complete Savoy and Dial Master Takes Ko Ko Savoy
    # 4 John Coltrane Ken Burns Jazz Afro Blue Verve
    # 5 João Gilberto Amoroso/Brasil Estaté Warner Bros
    # 6 Shirley Horn Here's to Life Here's to Life Verve
    # 7 Lambert, Hendricks and Ross The Hottest New Group in Jazz Blue Columbia
    # 8 Gildo Mahones Summertime Summertime Venus
    Book Gildo's eyesight prevents his reading much any more
    Luxury Item A Star Trek replicator
    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
    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