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.

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Jazz Unlimited
2:34 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

A Tribute to Marian McPartland And New Music

Clark Terry-2011
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited on Sunday evening, September 22 is “A Tribute to Marian McPartland and New Music.”   Pianist Marian McPartland was born in England and during World War II met and married traditional jazz trumpeter Jimmy McPartland soon after the war.  Soon Marian had a long running gig at the Hickory House on 52nd Street.  This eventually led, in addition to her busy performance schedule, to a career in radio.  Her show “Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz” was a staple on NPR from 1978 to 2011.  Marian died on August 20, 2013.  The first hour of Jazz Unlimited is dedicated to her music.  The las

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Jazz Unlimited
11:41 am
Sat September 14, 2013

John Coltrane In His Own Words and Music

Percy Heath-2002
Dennis C. Ows;ey Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited on Sunday evening, September 15 will feature “John Coltrane in His Own Words and Music.”   During his career, John Coltrane gave only a few interviews to jazz journalists.  He was a quiet, humble man who was very guarded.  Until now, only transcripts existed of these interviews.  Two well-known interviews with August Blume (1958) and Frank Kofsky (1966) have recently been issued in audio form.  These interviews, along with a short 1960 audio interview from Stockholm and a short 1966 interview from Japan will provide a different look at this jazz giant.  In addition, we will p

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Jazz Unlimited
7:03 am
Mon September 9, 2013

The Sleep Cycle

All of us spend a significant portion of our lives sleeping.  When we are asleep, we dream, we have rapid eye movements, some of us talk, some of us walk and at one time or other we all have nightmares.  There are a surprising number of tunes having to do with what goes on when we sleep.   We feature music by Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Ben Webster, Irene Reid, Johnny Hodges, Bertha, Roger Kellaway, Count Basie, Ornette Coleman, Kurt Elling, Gary Burton, Horace Silver, Irene Reid, Meredith D'Ambrosio, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Charles Mingus, Gerald Clayton, Marilyn Crispell, Toshiko Akiy

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Jazz Unlimited
3:00 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Great Jazz Soloists-Part 4

Dave and Iola Brubeck-2002
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited Sunday evening, September 1 will present “Great Jazz Soloists-Part 4.”   The great soloists highlighted in this program will be violinist Stephane Grappelli, saxophonists Paul Gonsalves, Charles Lloyd, Archie Shepp, Arthur Blythe, Dexter Gordon, James Moody, Sonny Stitt, Branford Marsalis, Ravi Coltrane, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Anthony Braxton; clarinettist Don Byron, trumpeters Dave Douglas, Terell Stafford, and Clark Terry; pianists Dave Brubeck, Jason Moran, Mulgrew Miller, Brad Mehldau, Fred Hersch, Jacky Terrason and Jessica Williams; vibists Joe Locke and Stefon Harris,

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Jazz Unlimited
1:36 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Kansas City Piano and New Music

Jay McShann-1988
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited Sunday evening, August 25 will present “Kansas City Piano and New Music.”   The Quieter Side of Jazz will feature blues and boogie woogie music from Kansas City pianists Count Basie, Mary Lou Williams, Jay McShann, Pete Johnson, Julia Lee and Sammy Price.  The new music for August will include music by Leo’s Five, Ambrose Akinmusire, Jay Clayton, Tootie Heath, The Clayton Brothers, Ptah Williams’ Trio, Rich Thompson, Kris Davis, The Bad Plus, Jan Garbarek and Wayne Shorter.

Check out my images of some of the musicians in the Slide Show.

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Jazz Unlimited
5:10 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

The Great Jazz Soloists-Part 3

Buddy DeFranco-1987
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited  for Sunday, August 18 will present  “The Great Jazz Soloists-Part 3.”  A great jazz solo is awe-inspiring, exciting, emotional and always tells a story.  In the entire history of jazz, there are only a few soloists who are consistently capable of a great solo in every performance.  Jazz Unlimited will play these musicians over the next few weeks.  The artists for August 18 are Art Tatum, Slam Stewart, Charlie Christian, Artie Shaw, Buddy DeFranco, Wes Montgomery, Roy Eldridge, Kenny Barron, Regina Carter, Zoot Sims, Bobby Hutcherson, McCoy Tyner, Lennie Tristano, Warne Marsh

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Jazz Unlimited
2:38 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

The Great Jazz Soloists-Part 2

Ray Brown-1987
Dennis C. Ows;ey Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday evening, August 11 will be “The Great Jazz Soloists-Part 2.” A great jazz solo is awe-inspiring, exciting, emotional and always tells a story.  In the entire history of jazz, there are only a few soloists who are consistently capable of a great solo in every performance.  Jazz Unlimited will play these musicians over the next few weeks.  The artists for August 11 will be Joe “King” Oliver, Fats Waller, Bix Beiderbecke, Django Reinhardt, Coleman Hawkins, Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, Johnny Hodges, Stuff Smith, Pee Wee Russell, Serge Chaloff, Paul Desmond, Jim Hall, Ra

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Jazz Unlimited
8:49 am
Sun August 4, 2013

The Great Jazz Soloists-Part 1

John Clayton
Dennis C. Ows;ey Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

On the August 4, 2013 edition of Jazz Unlimited, we begin a four part series highlighting the great jazz soloists.  A great jazz solo is awe-inspiring, exciting, emotional and always tells a story.  In the entire history of jazz, there may be less than 140 soloists who are consistently capable of a great solo in nearly every performance.  We will hear some of them spotlighted tonight.  The musicians featured include Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Lee Morgan, Woody Shaw.

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Jazz Unlimited
4:40 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

The Music of "Fats" Waller and New Music

Dick Hyman-1986
Dennis C. Ows;ey Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday evening, July 28, the quieter side of jazz will present the rollicking music of Thomas “Fats” Waller.  It will be interpreted by Fats himself and pianists James P. Johnson, Earl Hines, Dick Hyman and St.

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Jazz Unlimited
12:06 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Music From The Newport And Monterey Jazz Festivals-Part 2

Dave and Iola Brubeck-2002
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for July 21 will feature “Music from the Newport and Monterey Jazz Festivals-Part Two”   The Newport and Monterey Jazz Festivals are the longest running jazz festivals in history.  Newport was founded in 1954 and Monterey in 1957.  Newport was wracked by riots in 1960, 1970 and 1974 and was canceled for a time and was moved to New York City for a time in the 1970’s.  The riots were caused by drunken young people who were attracted to the festival when they added popular rock groups.  Monterey has run uninterrupted for 55 years with its make-up of mainly straight ahead jazz an

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