Desert Island Jazz
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  • Castaways by date
    Greg Abate

    Colin Bailey

    Chuck Bernstein

    Alex Budman

    Deszon X. Claiborne

    Omar Clay

    Jeff Clayton

    Bob Dorough

    Mary Fettig

    Gary Foster

    Ken French

    Paul Horn

    Weber Iago

    Harold Jones

    Jerry Karp

    Sarah Manning

    Jon Mayer

    Virginia Mayhew

    Mark Murphy

    Zaki Nadiri

    Kim Nalley

    Rebecca Parris

    Jean-Michael Pilc

    Rudy Salvini

    Jovino Santos Neto

    Irene Sazer

    John Schott

    Khalil Shaheed

    Todd Sickafoose

    Allen Smith

    Michael Spiro

    Kristen Strom

    Robert Strom

    Randy Vincent

    Scott Whitfield

    Dick Whittington

    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