Dennis Owsley

Jazz Unlimited Host

Dennis Owsley has been hosting a weekly radio show on St. Louis Public Radio since 1983. He has been a jazz album collector, aficionado, and historian since 1958 and has seen most of the major artists in jazz in live performance.

Owsley wrote an award-winning book, City of GabrielsThe Jazz History of St. Louis 1895-1973.

Nearly all the music heard on Jazz Unlimited is from Owsley's personal collection. He is gaining an international reputation as a photographer of jazz musicians as well.

Ways To Connect

New Music

Dec 27, 2014
Heard on "Tall and Lanky" and "Albert's Blue Sky"
Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, December 28 will be “New Music.”  This show will start with the “Keys and Strings Hour,” which will feature a new 1974 live recording of the first Keith Jarrett Trio, along with music by stride pianist/vocalist Joe Turner, bassist David Friesen, and pianists Hal Galper and Danny Green.  The second and third hours will present new music from our own Eric Warren, trumpeter Thomas Marriot, the Alex Mercado Trio, the Jim Norton Collective, drummer Ali Jackson, the Bill Warfield Big Band, two versions of the Jeff Coffin Mu’Tet, Dave Liebman, our own Oliver Lake and tru

Heard on Horace Silver's "Peace."
Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited's show for Sunday, December 21 will be the annual winter holiday show, this time called “Meditations on Peace.”  2014 has been a rough year for our world, our country and our city.  At this time of year many people espouse peace, but do they really mean it?  In 24 different songs containing the word “Peace” in the title and in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Sir William Gladstone, Petra Kelly, John F.

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, December 14 will be “The Career of Coleman Hawkins: the Father of the Tenor Saxophone."  Coleman Hawkins was the first to recognize the beauty and utility of the tenor saxophone.  Before he came along, it was a novelty instrument.  Since his first recording in 1921, Hawkins has paved the way for a lot of tenor players and influenced many.  He is known as the “father of the tenor saxophone.” We will listen to his 47-year career that includes music with Fletcher Henderson, St.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for SUnday, December 7 will be  “The Fifty Year Anniversary of the Recording of “A Love Supreme.”  On December 9, 1964, the John Coltrane Quartet entered Rudy Van Gelder’s studio with almost no written music but for a few sketches and what looked like a handwritten poem.  They proceeded to record the album “A Love Supreme,” one of the most important and best selling albums in jazz.  Since that time, three other versions of the work have been recorded along with interpretations of various sections by a number of artists.  We will hear these interpretations played by the Conrad

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, November 30 will be “Jazz Giants Born in November and December.”  Jazz Giants are individuals whose sound and approach are instantly identifiable.  Their work has influenced those who came after them.  This show will highlight music from bandleaders Fletcher Henderson, Benny Moten and Toshiko Akiyoshi; pianists Willie “The Lion” Smith, Teddy Wilson, Dave Brubeck, Wynton Kelly, Roger Kellaway, Ray Bryant, Hampton Hawes, and John Hicks; trumpeters Clark Terry, Bunny Berigan and Woody Shaw; saxophonists Serge Chaloff, Phil Woods, Joe Lovano; trombonists Steve Turre a

Food And Drink

Nov 22, 2014
Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, November 23 will present “Food and Drink.”  Thanksgiving is the season of gluttony and we will present music suggestive of the season, dividing the show into breakfast, lunch, libations and dinner selections.  The artists featured on this show include Bunny Berigan, Phineas Newborn, Jr., Les McCann, Art Tatum, Hank Mobley, Coleman Hawkins, Nat “King” Cole, Billie Holiday, Don Byas, Cyrus Chestnut, Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Lee Morgan, Gene Harris, Eddie Harris, Dizzy Gillespie.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited on Sunday, November 16 will be a three-part show.  The Keys and Strings Hour will present duets without horns, while the second hour will be tributes to the late bandleader, composer, arranger and educator Gerald Wilson and the late trumpeter Kenny Wheeler.  The third hour will present new music.  Musicians and groups heard on this show will be a Dick Hyman/Ralph Sutton duet, Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Pass, Jim Hall, Mary Lou Williams, Charlie Haden, Chick Corea, Hiromi, Michael Blake, Dayna Stephens, Jane Bunnett, Conrad Herwig and the “Latin Side of Joe Henderson Ensemble,” Cong

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

The Sunday, November 9 Jazz Unlimited will present “Interpretations of Monk.”  Thelonious Monk’s compositions are little, quirky gems that are among the most recorded in jazz.  Monk’s distinctive piano playing will not be present as we hear others interpret his tunes.   The Interpretations include 10 vocal recordings, 10 recordings of small groups without horns and nine 9 big band recordings.  Some of the big bands are the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Quincy Jones Orchestra and others.  Vocalists include Carmen McRae, Kevin Mahogany and Denise Jannah, among others.  The small groups include

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited on Sunday, November 2 will present music from the 51-year of Armando “Chick” Corea.  Chick was born in the Boston area and was working professionally by his late teens.  His career includes straight-ahead jazz, avant-garde jazz, jazz-rock fusion and classical music.  We will hear music from his groups Return to Forever, Origin, his duets with Gary Burton and his own trio.  He will also be heard with Herbie Hancock, the Donald Byrd/Pepper Adams group, Miles Davis and the Joe Henderson Big Band.  Many of his compositions are now jazz standards and some of them will be played an

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

The October 26 Jazz Unlimited will be in three parts.

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