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
10:08 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

The Jazz History Of St. Louis-Part 4: The 1950's

Bob Graf at Peacock Alley
Bernie Thrasher Courtesy Euclid Records

The Jazz Unlimited Sunday, April 28 show will have “The Jazz History of St. Louis, Part 4: The 1950’s.”  The period saw the founding of the St.

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Jazz Unlimited
3:07 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

The Jazz History of St. Louis-Part 3: World War II and It's Aftermath

Charlie Menees 1970's
Photographer Unknown Courtesy of the Menees family
  • Jazz Unlimited 4/21/13 Hour 1 Archive

Jazz Unlimited on Sunday, April 21 will feature “The Jazz History of St. Louis, Part 3: World War II and Its Aftermath."  The period saw the formation of the George Hudson Orchestra and the early careers of Miles Davis, Clark Terry, Jimmy Forrest, Ernie Wilkins, Charles Fox, Chris Woods, Velma Middleton and Arvell Shaw.  Some of the rare recordings include the recording debut of Wendell Marshall, two tunes recorded by Jimmy Forrest at the Bolo Club, a recording by the Tommy Dean Band, a V-disc recording by Clark Terry and His Section Eights, a recording made in St.

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Jazz Unlimited
9:25 am
Fri April 12, 2013

The Jazz History of St. Louis-Part 2: The Great Depression And The Beginning of World War II

Eddie Randle-1938
photographer unknown Courtesy of the Randle Family
  • Jazz Unlimited 4/14/13 Hour 1 Archive

The April 14 Jazz Unlimited is the second part of the Jazz History of St. Louis Radio Documentary.  The story of the jazz musicians of St. Louis and their relation to St. Louis history will be told in words and music by the people who were a part of that story.  The musicians and groups featured in Part Two are Red McKenzie and the Mound City Blue Blowers, Pee Wee Russell, Eddie Johnson and the St. Louis Crackerjacks, Hayes Pillars and the Jeter-Pillars Orchestra, George Hudson, Eddie Randle and the St.

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Jazz Unlimited
7:31 am
Wed April 3, 2013

The Jazz History Of St. Louis-Part 1: The Ragtime Era And The Roaring Twenties

Scott Joplin
Unknown Scott Joplin House
  • Jazz Unlimited 4/7/13 Hour 1 Archive

Jazz Unlimited on Sunday, April 7 will be the first installment of an eight-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.

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Jazz Unlimited
12:30 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Jazz Giants For March And April

Michael Brecker-2003
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

On the March 31 Jazz Unlimited show, we will present jazz giants born in March and April.  Some of the artists include Bix Beiderbecke, Billie Holiday, Lionel Hampton, Sarah Vaughan, Nat "King" Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Henderson, Pee Wee Russell, Carmen McRae and Michael Brecker.

Check out my photos of Michael Brecker, Brad Mehldau and John Pattitucci on the slide show.

Here is a video of Lionel Hampton (introduced by Patti Page) playing "Flying Home" in 1957.

Jazz Unlimited
1:28 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

The Quieter Side of Jazz And New Music For March

Billy Childs-2012
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley
  • Jazz Unlimited 3/24/13 Hour 1 Archive

On the March 24 Jazz Unlimited, we will feature the quieter side of jazz (jazz without horns) and new music.  Some of the artists featured are Duke Ellington, Nat "King" Cole, Herbie Hancock, Gary Burton, Lennie Tristano, Willie Akins, Montez Coleman, Gregory Porter, Patricia Barber, the group Old Time Musketry, Patricia Barber, Charles Mingus, the Wayne Shorter "without a safety net" quartet and the Vijay Iyer Trio

Check out the slide show to find images of some of the musicians heard on this show.

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Jazz Unlimited
10:36 am
Sun March 17, 2013

Jazz Artists of History With Major Birthdays in March

Bob Wilber's Bechet Legacy band-1983
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

The March 17, 2013 Jazz Unlimited show will feature jazz artists with major birthdays.  They include some major artists such as pioneering trombonist Miff Mole (115), cornetist Bix Beiderbecke (110), vibist Red Norvo, composer, arranger, producer Quincy Jones (80), guitarist George Benson (70), saxophonist Charles Lloyd (75) and pianist Cecil Taylor (80).  The music played will span the years 1927-2004.

Check out the photos of some of the artists heard on the show.

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Jazz Unlimited
3:49 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Money-What Makes Public Radio Go Around

Benny Carter-1989
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

The March 10, Jazz Unlimited will be devoted to an examination of tunes about money.  Money is what fuels St. Louis Public Radio.  Some of the srtists to be heard to night include Muggsy Sprecher recorded live at the Silver Dollar Club on Gaslight Square, Ahmad Jamal, J.J. Johnson, Count Basie with Buddy DeFranco, Art Tatum, Phil Woods, Cannonball Adderley, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Jay McShann and the World Saxophone Quartet.

Check out my photos of some of the artists heard on the show.

Jazz Unlimited
3:16 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Jazz Cities-Pittsburgh

Bob Cooper-1987
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley
  • Jazz Unlimited 3/3/13 Hour 1 Archive

On the March 3. 2013 Jazz Unlimited Show, we will hear musicians who were born or nurtured early in their careers in Pittsburgh.  Pittsburgh is know as a city that sends great pianists out into the world of jazz.  Many of these musicians go through the Westinghouse High School music program.  Some of the Pittsburgers heard on tonight tonight's show include pianists Earl Hines, Dodo Marmarosa, Erroll Garner, Billy Strayhorn, Sonny Clark, Mary Lou Williams and Ahmad Jamal, trumpeters Roy Eldridge and (now St.

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Jazz Unlimited
5:30 am
Mon February 18, 2013

The Quieter Side of Jazz, An Interview With Marc Myers And New Music

Stefon Harris-2007
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley
  • Jazz Unlimited 2/24/13 Hour 1 Archive

On February 4, our feature The Quieter Side of Jazz will have music by pianists Elmo Hope, Herbie Nichols, and Jay McShann and drummers Kenny Clarke, Frank Butler and Max Roach.  The second hour will consist of an interview with music with Marc Myers, author of the book, "Why Jazz Happened" (University of California Press).  Myers discusses the technological, business and social currents that made jazz what it became in the 1940's through the late 1960's.  The final hour of the show will feature new music with Joe Lovano, the SF Jazz Collective, Chris Potter, David Liebman and his daughter

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