Desert Island Jazz
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  • Castaways by date
    Steve Adams
    30 May
    Cheryl Bentyne
    17 Oct
    Will Bernard
    11 Apr
    Barbara Borden
    21 Mar
    Jim Butler
    13 Jun
    Ian Carey
    21 Feb
    Judy Chaikin
    17 Jan
    Mike Clark
    10 Oct
    Freddy Cole
    21 Nov
    Beth Custer
    01 Aug
    Harry Duncan
    03 Oct
    Kai Eckhardt
    03 Jan
    Lisa Engelken
    26 Sep
    Don Friedman
    07 Nov
    Roger Glenn
    05 Dec
    Kimberly Gordon
    28 Mar
    Marty Grosz
    29 Aug
    Alex Hahn
    08 Aug
    Bill Holman
    28 Feb
    Tommy Igoe
    07 Mar
    Namita Kapoor
    22 Aug
    27 Jun
    Lisa Mezzacappa
    24 Oct
    25 Jul
    Glenn Richman
    15 Aug
    Alfredo Rodriguez
    25 Apr
    Dan Sabanovich
    02 May
    Grant Stewart
    12 Dec
    Judy Wexler
    04 Apr

    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