Desert Island Jazz
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05 Dec
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26 Sep
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19 Sep
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29 Aug
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15 Aug
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08 Aug
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01 Aug
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25 Jul
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18 Jul
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27 Jun
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20 Jun
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02 May
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18 Apr
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11 Apr
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04 Apr
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21 Mar
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14 Mar
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29 Feb
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08 Feb
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18 Jan
Jeff Cressman
04 Jan
Most Recent Castaway - 12th December, 2014
Grant Stewart (2014)

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(Photo by John Abbott)

Saxophonist Grant Stewart was exposed in to the music of Charlie Parker and Wardell Gray and Coleman Hawkins right at home (in Toronto, Ontario, Canada) by his father, a high school teacher of English by day and a semi-pro guitarist by night. Father and son often played together, figuring out the changes on standards, with Grant developing a strong ear.

Having started on alto sax at age 10, Grant was invited at age 14 by his teacher, Toronto bandleader Pete Schofield, to join the band. Three years later, Grant switched to tenor, and was soon in the company of Pat LaBarbera and Bob Mover.

Moving to New York City at age 19, Grant hung around the New School long enough to get lessons from Donald Byrd, Barry Harris and Joe Lovano. He met Brad Mehldau, Bill Charlap, Dick Hyman, Russell Malone, Larry Goldings and the like, and became a member of Al Grey's final sextet. But it was at the then nascent Smalls club in Greenwich Village that he really made a name for himself.

Two decades on, Andy Gilbert wrote just the other day that Grant has a "big, burly sound, and a commanding sense of swing." Patrick Wolff invited Grant to the Bay Area to increase his exposure on the West Coast, and it was in the midst of the series of gigs that Patrick arranged that Grant was cast away on KCSM's desert island. In that same Gilbert article, Patrick wrote of Grant that "he's got a sound so tactile that it reaches out and pushes you in the chest."
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Coleman Hawkins Ken Burns Jazz Picasso Verve
# 2 Duke Ellington and His Orchestra ... And His Mother Called Him Bill Raincheck RCA
# 3 Charlie Parker Complete Savoy and Dial Masters Bird of Paradise Savoy
# 4 Don Byas Le Grand Don Byas (LP) Time on My Hands Master Jazz
# 5 Sonny Rollins On Impulse Three Little Words Impulse
# 6 Louis Armstrong and Oscar Peterson Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson I'll Never Be the Same Verve
# 7 Thomas "Fats" Waller The Middle Years, Part 2 Hold Tight (I Want Some Sea Food) RCA
# 8 Peggy Lee Miss Peggy Lee Is That All There Is? Capitol
# 9 Dexter Gordon Gettin' Around Who Can I Turn To? Blue Note
         
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