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

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Jazz Unlimited on Sunday, July 6 will be the first installment of the ten-week radio documentary on the jazz history of St. Louis.  Not only do we have the music, but also we have interviews with the people who made that history.  The interviewees for the first installment include St. Louis historian Judge Nathan Young, internationally known ragtime expert Trebor Jay Tichenor, tuba player Singleton Palmer, bandleader Eddie Johnson, trumpeters Clark Terry and David Hines and the great-grandson of the man who started the St.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Please join me Sunday night, June 29 on Jazz Unlimited from nine to midnight for “Remembering Horace Silver.”  Pianist, composer, bandleader and jazz giant Horace Silver died at the age of 85 on June 28.  He was born in Norwalk, Connecticut in 1928,  Horace’s father was from the Cape Verdean islands and he had an affinity for those rhythms and Latin rhythms all his life.  He was one of the architects of the style known as hard bop and his major pianistic influence was Bud Powell.  Silver’s first major job was with Stan Getz in 1950.  He signed with Blue Note Records in 1952 and remained wit

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Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, June 22 will be “The Keys and Strings Hour and New Music.”   The Keys and Strings Hour presents the quieter side of jazz, without horns.  Fireworks will not be lacking, however, as we present the music of two virtuoso pianists: Art Tatum and Hiromi.  The New Music segment for June will feature a rare 1959 album by Andrew Hill, Sonny Rollins’ “Roadshows, Vol.

Jam Sessions

Jun 14, 2014
Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

The June 15 Jazz Unlimited show will be “Jam Sessions.”  Jam sessions have been going on since the music started.  They can be contests where individual players test themselves against other players.  They can be situations in which an instrumentalist can try out new ideas and techniques.  They can be auditions for jobs with a certain bandleader and they can be situations where the musicians are having fun and experiencing higher-level communication than just talking.  Jam session records belong to a subset of jazz recordings.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for June 8 will feature “The Music of Shorty Rogers.”   Trumpeter, composer arranger Shorty Rogers was born Milton Rajonsky in 1924 I Great Barrington, Massachusetts.  He was involved in drum and bugle corps at an early age.  Following graduation from high school, he became a professional musician, working with Will Bradley, Red Norvo and Woody Herman.  Moving to Los Angeles, he worked with Stan Kenton and joined the Lighthouse All-Stars.  Rogers was one of the architects of the “West Coast Jazz” style and for the 1950’s was known as an avant-gardist.  He also had a studio ca

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Jazz Unlimited for June 1, 2014 will be “The Career of Tommy Flanagan.”  One of the most respected pianists in jazz, Tommy Flanagan was born in 1930 in Detroit.  By the age of 15, he was playing professionally, doing his school homework backstage between sets.  At the urging of his fellow Detroiter, Kenny Burrell, Flanagan moved to New York in 1956.  In that year, he appeared on 13 jazz albums.  In his career, he was heard on 401 recording sessions, recording 50 albums as a leader.  He has five Grammy Nominations to his credit.  Flanagan was Ella Fitzgerald’s accompanist from 1962-1965 and

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, May 25 is in three parts.  The first part is the “Keys and Strings Hour” with Miles Davis compositions played without horns.   We will hear the Mulgrew Miller Trio, the Victor Feldman Trio, the Oscar Peterson trio, the Mary Lou Williams-Brian Torff duo, the Lynne Arriale Trio, the Red Garland Quartet, the Turtle Island String Quartet, the Ray Bryant Trio and the Ray Brown Trio.  The second part of the show is an interview with St.

The Sunday, May 18  Jazz Unlimited show will feature music from  “The Pacific Jazz Record Label.”  Founded by Richard Bock and drummer Roy Harte in the early 1950’s in Los Angeles, the Pacific Jazz and World Pacific record labels documented the West Coast Jazz Scene from the cool jazz to the soul jazz eras until it was sold in 1967.  This show features the music of Art Pepper, Shorty Rogers, Joe Pass, the Chico Hamilton Quintet, the Bud Shank/Laurindo Almeida group that preceded the bossa nova craze of the early 1960’s, Jimmy Rowles, John Lewis, Bill Perkins, Richie Kamuca, the Gerald Wilso

The May 11 Jazz Unlimited will be “The Music of Miles Davis.” Born in Alton, Il., and raised in East St.

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Please join me Sunday night on Jazz Unlimited from nine to midnight for  “The Career of Kenny Burrell.”  Detroit born guitarist and teacher Kenny Burrell has had a 64 year as a performer and teacher.  An active studio musician, he performed in over 600 record sessions.  Burrell has 70 albums as a leader.  In 1996, he became a professor and Director of Jazz Studies at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.  He teaches an annual course on Duke Ellington called “Ellingtonia.”  Kenny Burrell will be heard with Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Hank Jones, Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Milt Jackson,

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