Desert Island Jazz
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  • Castaways by date
    Lincoln Adler
    29 Aug
    Laurie Antonioli
    29 Feb
    Jeff Ballard
    08 Aug
    David Belove
    20 Jun
    Ken Berman
    15 Aug
    Lee Bloom
    14 Mar
    Maxwell Chandler
    05 Dec
    Jeff Cressman
    04 Jan
    Sylvia Cuenca
    01 Aug
    Terry Disley
    02 May
    Taylor Eigsti
    18 Jan
    Kathleen Grace
    21 Nov
    Craig Handy
    18 Apr
    Tootie Heath
    25 Jul
    John Lee
    17 Oct
    Seward McCain
    24 Oct
    Myra Melford
    04 Apr
    Brian Melvin
    27 Jun
    Debbie Poryes
    19 Sep
    Ali Ryerson
    08 Feb
    Antonio Sanchez
    14 Nov
    Jaz Sawyer
    10 Oct
    Wally Schnalle
    11 Apr
    Dred Scott
    21 Mar
    Scott Sorkin
    08 Nov
    Dayna Stephens
    18 Jul
    Al Young
    26 Sep
    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