Desert Island Jazz
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  • Castaways by date
    Doug Beavers
    27 Aug
    Chuck Bennett
    25 Jun
    Lee Brenkman
    08 Oct
    Lee Charlton
    08 Jan
    Barbara Dane
    15 Jan
    Robben Ford
    17 Dec
    Rebecca Coupe Franks
    28 May
    Fred Frith
    13 Aug
    Larry Grenadier
    06 Aug
    Eddie Henderson
    09 Apr
    Erik Jekabson
    16 Jul
    Laura Klein
    26 Feb
    Cleo Laine and Jacqui Dankworth
    22 Oct
    Babatunde Lea
    19 Mar
    Victor Lin
    30 Jul
    Charles McPherson
    23 Jul
    Houston Person
    02 Jul
    Alfredo Rodriguez
    12 Nov
    Loren Schoenberg
    30 Apr
    Adam Shulman
    05 Mar
    Frank Sumares
    19 Feb
    Dave Tidball
    12 Mar
    Mike Vax
    23 Apr
    George Wein
    15 Oct
    Mark Winkler
    03 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