Desert Island Jazz
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  • Castaways by date
    Paul Anastasio
    25 Sep
    Macy Blackman
    19 Jun
    George Cole
    21 Aug
    Alex Condé
    06 Mar
    Kit Eakle
    04 Sep
    Phillip Greenlief
    13 Feb
    Noah Griffin
    06 Nov
    Tammy Hall
    27 Feb
    Alan Hall
    22 May
    Christian Howes
    27 Mar
    Kymberly Jackson
    03 Apr
    Julie Kelly
    20 Feb
    Maya Kronfeld and Valerie Troutt
    29 May
    Jennifer Lee
    17 Apr
    Steven Lugerner
    24 Jul
    Steve McQuarry
    05 Jun
    Jacqui Naylor
    13 Nov
    Dave Newhouse
    14 Aug
    Zack Rogow
    24 Apr
    Holli Ross
    17 Jul
    Ellen Seeling
    02 Oct
    Richard Seidel
    09 Oct
    Edward Simon
    31 Jul
    Tessa Souter
    23 Oct
    Steve Turré
    07 Aug
    Donna Viscuso
    20 Nov
    Patrick Wolff
    16 Jan
    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