Desert Island Jazz
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  • Castaways by date
    Kenny Barron

    David Benoit

    Melanie Berzon

    Michael Brecker

    Greg Bridges

    Clifford Brown

    Willie L. Brown

    Dave Brubeck

    Sonny Buxton

    Charlie Byrd

    Conte Candoli

    Regina Carter

    Alisa Clancy

    Avishai Cohen

    Dick Conte

    Chick Corea

    Chris Cortez

    Bill Cosby

    Jim Cullum

    John Dankworth

    Pete Douglas

    Jim Dunbar

    Stan Dunn

    Mimi Fox

    Mike Greenshill

    John Griffin

    Richard Hadlock

    Jim Hall

    Roy Hargrove

    Pat Henry

    Antoine Hervé

    Keith Hines

    Dave Holland

    George Hughes

    Bobby Hutcherson

    Tim Jackson

    Ahmad Jamal

    Jon Jang

    Orrin Keepnews

    Cleo Laine

    Kathleen Lawton

    Kitty Margolis

    Wynton Marsalis

    Eddie Marshall

    Christian McBride

    Marian McPartland

    Bob Parlocha

    Bob Parlocha

    Rufus Reid

    Annie Ross

    Jayne Sanchez

    Arturo Sandoval

    Diane Schuur

    George Shearing

    Bud Spangler

    Toots Thielemans

    Jesse "Chuy" Varela

    Larry Vuckovich

    Kenny Werner

    Wesla Whitfield and Mike Greensill

    Herb Wong

    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