Jazz Unlimited

Sundays evenings, from 9-12.

Jazz Unlimited is a unique weekly radio show covering the continuum of jazz from Louis Armstrong to Lester Bowie. Each show is scripted and is based on a theme to provide the broadest coverage of the music.

Host Dennis Owsley has been a jazz album collector, aficionado, and historian since 1958 and has seen most of the major artists in jazz in live performance. April 2013 marks his 30th anniversary presenting jazz on St. Louis Public Radio. 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. >> See his photographs.

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

Jazz Unlimited won the Riverfront Times' Best of St. Louis Award in the "Best Jazz Show" category six out of the past eight years. He produced a radio documentary in 1986 that led to that book.  That documentary will be produced again and expanded during all of April and part of May 2013.

Owsley wrote an article for St. Louis Magazine about John Coltrane: Dennis Owsley on Watching Coltrane Play...

Please email jazz@stlpublicradio.org with your suggestions, requests, or comments.

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Jazz Unlimited
10:32 am
Sun March 2, 2014

Live Jazz From Other New York Venues-Part 1

Kenny Davern-1989
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for March 2, 2014 will be “Live Jazz from Other New York Venues, Part 1.”  Jazz played live is a different animal from jazz recorded in the emotionally sterile confines of a studio.  The energy and emotion reflected back from an audience to the performers brings about better performances.  We continue our survey of New York venues with smaller clubs and Lincoln Center as well as presenting music from clubs that we did not have time for on earlier shows.  We will feature duets between Dick Wellstood and Kenny Davern, Dick Hyman and Roger Kellaway and Joe Lovano and Hank Jones

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Jazz Unlimited
9:57 am
Sat February 22, 2014

The Guitar Of Jim Hall. A Tribute To Rich McDonnell And New Music

Paul DeMarinis-2003
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for February 23 will be “The Guitar of Jim Hall, A Tribute to Rich McDonnell and New Music.” Jim Hall will be featured on the first hour, the “Keys and Strings Hour,” bringing you the quieter side of jazz.  Rich McDonnell, founder of the Max Jazz label died recently and we will honor him with some of recordings from the Max Jazz catalog.  The third hour will be new music for February.  Artists heard on the show will be: the Jim Hall trio, the Red Mitchell quintet, duos between Jim Hall and Pat Metheny, Bill Evans and Ron Carter and the Hampton Hawes quartet.  Music in the sec

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Jazz Unlimited
2:56 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Live From the Village Vanguard-Part 2

Ben Riley-2006
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited on February 16 is “Live from the Village Vanguard-Part 2.”  We continue our survey of New York jazz clubs with the first of two parts on the Village Vanguard.  Max Gordon started the club in 1935 and ran it until his death in 1989.  Since then, his widow Lorraine continues to run it.  It remains the way it was when Max died.  The featured artists for this show, the Junior Mance Trio, the Joe Lovano Quartet, Chucho Valdes and his band, the John Coltrane Quartet, the Bobby Hutcherson Quartet, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie, the Bill Evans Trio, Art Pepper, the Tha

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Jazz Unlimited
10:51 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Live From The Village Vanguard-Part 1

Slide Hampton-1988
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for February 9 is “Live from the Village Vanguard-Part 1.”  We continue our survey of New York jazz clubs with the first of two parts on the Village Vanguard.  Max Gordon started the club in 1935 and ran it until his death in 1989.  Since then, his widow Lorraine continues to run it.  It remains the way it was when Max died.  The featured artists for this show, guitarist Jim Hall, the Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band, the Brad Mehldau Trio, Roy Eldridge, Coleman Hawkins, Earl Hines, the Steve Kuhn Trio, the J.J.

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Jazz Unlimited
3:57 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Tributes to Jim Hall and Chico Hamilton + Dexter Gordon's 90th Birthday

Ray Brown-2000
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for February 2, 2014 will be “Tributes to Jim Hall and Chico Hamilton + Dexter Gordon’s 90th Birthday.”  Hall and Hamilton died in late 2013 after long lives and careers.  All three artists featured tonight had their early careers in Los Angeles.  We will attempt to play music representative of their careers.  The artists featured on this show include Gerald Wiggins, Billie Holiday, Paul Desmond, the Billy Eckstine Big Band, Pat Metheny, Art Farmer, Charles Lloyd, Herbie Hancock, Gerry Mulligan, Sonny Rollins, Kenny Baron, Joe Lovano, Chris Potter and Woody Shaw, along with H

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Jazz Unlimited
7:52 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Guitars & Violins And New Music

Barney Kessel-1989
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for December 26, 2014 will be “Guitars & Violins and New Music.”  Violins have been a part of jazz since the beginning.  Photographic evidence suggests that early jazz combos that had front lines of trumpet, trombone and violin or trumpet, clarinet and violin were more prevalent than those that had front lines of trumpet, trombone and clarinet.  The January “Keys and Strings Hour” will showcase groups containing violins and guitars including the Joe Venuti-Eddie Lang duo, the Stuff Smith Quintet with Oscar Peterson and Barney Kessel, the Quintet of the Hot Club of France,

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Jazz Unlimited
9:44 am
Fri January 17, 2014

The Career Of Shelly Manne

Flip Phillips-1990
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, January 19 will be “The Career of Shelly Manne.”  Drummer, bandleader, composer and club owner Shelly Manne was born in New York in 1920 and began working professionally in swing groups as early as 1939.  He soon was noticed by people like Coleman Hawkins and other giants of the period and began recording and working with them.  During World War II, Manne often jammed on 52nd Street in New York while wearing his navy uniform.  He began playing with modernists Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker by 1945 and was in the Stan Kenton and Woody Herman orchestras.  Manne

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Jazz Unlimited
1:00 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Jazz Live From The Five Spot, Village Gate And Cafe Bohemia

Tommy Flanagan-1987
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for January 12, 2014 will present “Live Jazz from the Five-Spot, Village Gate and Café Bohemia.”  Energy reflected back to performing artists from an up close and personal audience often brings out the best performances.  We will feature live performances from Donald Byrd & Pepper Adams, Les McCann, Stanley Turrentine, Mongo Santamaria, Kenny Dorham, Coleman Hawkins, Sir Roland Hanna, Kenny Burrell, Herbie Mann, Horace Silver, Charles Mingus, Miles Davis.

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Jazz Unlimited
12:57 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Jazz Live From Birdland, The Half Note and Sweet Basil

Lou Donaldson-2000
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for January 5, 2014 will be “Live Jazz from Birdland, the Half Note and Sweet Basil.”  Energy reflected back to performing artists from an up close and personal audience often brings out the best in them.  We will feature live performances from Miles Davis, Bud Powell, Jim Hall, Clifford Brown, Lou Donaldson, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Nick Brignola, Abdullah Ibrahim, Count Basie with Sarah Vaughan, Lee Konitz, Bill Evans, Wes Montgomery with Wynton Kelly, Donald Harrison and Terence Blanchard, John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy with Booker Little, Paul Bley, Steve Lacy and

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Jazz Unlimited
12:37 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

Funky Piano Players And New Music

Ben Riley-2006
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for December 29 will be  “Funky Piano Players and New Music.”  Experiencing a driving, funky sounding piano trio is one of the most exciting and joyous things in listening to jazz.  We will feature music from Les McCann, Junior Mance, Red Garland, Bobby Timmons, Gene Harris, Ramsey Lewis and Monty Alexander will be featured.  New music to be played will be from four new Mosaic sets: Earl Hines, Ella Fitzgerald and Chick Webb, Clifford Jordan Strata-East Sessions and John Carter/Bobby Bradford west coast avant-garde music.  Recordings by Marc Copland and Gary Peacock, Cooper-M

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