Desert Island Jazz
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  • Castaways by date
    Melissa Aldana
    11 Mar
    Ron E. Beck
    29 Apr
    Pascal Bokar
    07 Oct
    Shanna Carlson
    18 Mar
    Sara Caswell
    25 Mar
    Carlos D'l Puerto
    22 Jul
    Kellye Gray
    15 Jul
    David Hart
    04 Nov
    Bruce Jenkins
    09 Dec
    Ellen Johnson
    17 Jun
    Steffen Kuehn
    02 Dec
    Paul McCandless
    08 Jul
    Allison Miller
    15 Apr
    Melissa Morgan
    29 Jul
    Linda Oh
    05 Aug
    Dafnis Prieto
    24 Jun
    Jim Pugh
    30 Sep
    Fred Randolph
    05 Feb
    Harvie S
    03 Jun
    Jake Shapiro
    10 Jun
    Marcus Shelby
    15 Jan
    Bria Skonberg
    04 Mar
    Paul Smith
    16 Dec
    Mark Soskin
    20 May
    Leslie Stoval
    19 Aug
    John Stowell
    08 Apr
    Toots Thielemans
    02 Sep
    Roseanna Vitro
    26 Feb
    Paul VornHagen
    14 Oct
    Don Was
    12 Aug
    Danielle Wertz
    27 May
    Howard Wiley
    28 Oct

    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