Desert Island Jazz
Nate Pruitt (2006)

Visit Website

Acclaimed as "the finest jazz scatting vocalist on the West Coast" (Good Times, Santa Cruz, CA), Nate Pruitt has developed his unique style over a long and varied career. The master of jazz, blues, and popular vocals that you hear in Nate today is the result of a long and multifaceted musical education.

Nate grew up in New Haven, Connecticut, in a musical environment; his brother Willie Ruff is a renowned jazz performer and educator. Across the street from his home was a jazz club, and one summer evening when Nate was around eight or nine, amazing singing drifted across on the warm air. The club's bouncer wouldn't let young Nate in for a closer listen, but Nate knew then that singing was what he wanted to do with his life. Though the name meant nothing to him at the time, the singer turned out to be Lena Horne.

As a teenager, Nate performed professionally in a doo-wop vocal group. Formal studies at Boston's Berklee School of Music followed, and then a stint in the Army fronting a band that included Phil Upchurch and Keith Copeland. After the Army, Nate worked for a period in New York City, where he was under the tutelage of Carmen McRae. Another wave of wanderlust took him to Los Angeles, where he recorded with Quincy Jones. Since the early 1980s Nate has been a mainstay of the San Francisco Bay Area jazz scene. Along with performing, Nate shares his love of singing with students he teaches both privately and at Gavilan college in Gilroy, California.

In addition to the two Primary Colors albums, Nate has recorded more than a half-dozen albums, including:

Steve Czarnecki, Soul Jazz Quintet (1997) and Soul Rendezvous (2001)

A Little Night Music, Late One Night (1983) and Sitting Ducks (1984)

His singing has been featured in numerous movies (including The Lost Man with Sidney Poitier and Mad City with John Travolta and Dustin Hoffman) and commercials. Highlights of his performing career have included appearances at the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Monterey Blues Festival, the Berlin and North Sea Jazz Festivals, and the W. C. Handy Memorial Jazz Fest in Alabama. Among the many artists he has performed with are Dizzy Gillespie, Diane Schuur, Dave Brubeck, Carmen McRae, Quincy Jones, Lionel Hampton, the Mitchell/Ruff Duo, Ernie Watts, and John Abercrombie.

Nate lives in Morgan Hill, California. He and his wife JoAnn have two sons, Nate Jr. and Miles, and a daughter, Laura -- musicians all.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 The Mitchell-Ruff Trio Catbird Seat Catbird Seat (Collectables)
# 2 Aretha Franklin Sings Standards Exactly Like You (Collectables)
# 3 Gloria Lynne Try a Little Tenderness/I'm Glad There Is You I'm Glad There Is You (Collectables)
# 4 Ray Charles Ray Charles & Betty Carter I Like to Hear It Some Time (Records)
# 5 Carmen McRae The Jazz Collection (Disc 3) Send in the Clowns (Madacy)
# 6 Ernie Watts Fourth Dynasty Planet Love (Pacific)
# 7 Nina Simone The Best of Nina Simone You Can Have Him (Roulette)
# 8 Ella Fitzgerald Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday in Concert (LP) Airmail Special (Verve)
Book Willie Ruff, "A Call to Assembly
Luxury Item A piano
Alternate Picks/Not Broadcast
Alt 1 Bobby "Blue" Bland N/A N/A N/A
Alt 2 Al Hibbler N/A N/A N/A
Alt 3 Sarah Vaughan N/A N/A N/A
Alt 4 Joe Williams N/A N/A N/A
Castaways by date
Steve Adams
30 May
Cheryl Bentyne
17 Oct
Will Bernard
11 Apr
Barbara Borden
21 Mar
Jim Butler
13 Jun
Ian Carey
21 Feb
Judy Chaikin
17 Jan
Mike Clark
10 Oct
Freddy Cole
21 Nov
Beth Custer
01 Aug
Harry Duncan
03 Oct
Kai Eckhardt
03 Jan
Lisa Engelken
26 Sep
Don Friedman
07 Nov
Roger Glenn
05 Dec
Kimberly Gordon
28 Mar
Marty Grosz
29 Aug
Alex Hahn
08 Aug
Bill Holman
28 Feb
Tommy Igoe
07 Mar
Namita Kapoor
22 Aug
27 Jun
Lisa Mezzacappa
24 Oct
25 Jul
Glenn Richman
15 Aug
Alfredo Rodriguez
25 Apr
Dan Sabanovich
02 May
Grant Stewart
12 Dec
Judy Wexler
04 Apr