Desert Island Jazz
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  • Castaways Alphabetically
    Pete Escovedo
    21 Dec
    William Dement
    14 Dec
    Victoria Theodore
    07 Dec
    Nika Rejto
    16 Nov
    Poncho Sanchez
    09 Nov
    Lonnie Liston Smith
    02 Nov
    Renee Rosnes
    26 Oct
    Nicolas Bearde
    19 Oct
    Delfeayo Marsalis
    12 Oct
    Ravi Abcarian
    24 Aug
    Veronica Klaus
    17 Aug
    Terence Blanchard
    10 Aug
    Terell Stafford
    03 Aug
    Julian Lage
    27 Jul
    Victor Wooten
    20 Jul
    Judi Silvano
    13 Jul
    Dave Bendigkeit
    06 Jul
    Sunna Gunnlaugs
    29 Jun
    Larry Coryell
    22 Jun
    Emil Viklický
    15 Jun
    Peter Zak
    08 Jun
    Peter Williams
    01 Jun
    Wil Blades
    25 May
    Cedar Walton
    27 Apr
    Kenny G
    20 Apr
    Roy McCurdy
    13 Apr
    06 Apr
    Steven Bernstein
    30 Mar
    Dee Bell
    23 Mar
    Lorca Hart
    16 Mar
    Tyshawn Sorey
    02 Mar
    Hubert Laws
    24 Feb

    Most Recent Castaway - 9th February, 2018
    George Cotsirilos (2018)

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    Guitarist/composer/arranger George Cotsirilos was born in Chicago. His early choice of musical instrument seems somewhat Jekyll-and-Hyde: influenced on the one hand by a classical-music devotee aunt, his first instrument was the violin; on the other hand, an uncle who in his own youth had played drums with Woody Herman got him interested, first, in that instrument and then, beginning with a Louis Armstrong concert, in jazz itself. If two instruments are good, then three must surely be better, so he took up the piano after seeing Oscar Peterson at Chicago's London House.

    Not long after the Summer of Love, George enrolled at UC Berkeley as a sociology major. But—perhaps seduced by his then-recent success in learning blues riffs for the guitar—he dropped out for a while to play with a blues band in Ann Arbor, Michigan ("Not a bad group", he says, "we ended up backing Albert King when he came to town"). After the group broke up, he made his way back to the Bay Area, re-enrolling at Berkeley, and completing a degree.

    In the intervening decades, George continued to play guitar with groups large and small, vocal and instrumental, all the while holding down one of the more unusual day jobs for a jazz musician: in the law—from public defender, through to 15 years of teaching criminal trial practice at UC Berkeley.

    George has a particular relationship with bassist Robb Fisher, with whom he co-founded the co-operative San Francisco Night¬hawks in the '90s, featuring drummer Eddie Marshall. Together with drummer Ron Marabuto, Robb appears on all three of George's trio recordings. In fact, both are also on his newest—quartet—recording, "Mostly in Blue".
    Pick Artist Album Song Label
    # 1 Andrés Segovia Five Centuries of the Spanish Guitar Nana MCA Classical
    # 2 George Cotsirilos Variations But Beautiful OA2
    # 3 John Coltrane Lush Life I Love You Prestige
    # 4 Lee Morgan The Procrastinator Rio Blue Note
    # 5 Miles Davis '58, Featuring "Stella by Starlight" On Green Dolphin Street Columbia
    # 6 Jim Hall Essentials I See Nothing to Laugh About Concord
    # 7 George Cotsirilos Mostly in Blue Mostly in Blue OA2
    Book Jorge Luis Borges, "Ficciones"
    Luxury Item A case of "Pliny the Elder" beer