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
12:11 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

Classical Themes In Jazz-Part 1

Don Byron-2006
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited  for October 6 will be “Classical Themes in Jazz.” There are a lot of connections to jazz from classical music.  Most of today’s musicians are as well versed in classical music as in jazz.  Since the beginning, classical themes have crept into the jazz lexicon.  The show will feature themes by Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Bach, Rimsky-Korsakov, Debussy, Dvorak, Ravel, Borodin and Stravinsky, among other composers.  The musicians include the John Kirby Sextet, the Nat “King” Cole Trio, Charlie Ventura, Don Byron, Duke Ellington, the Modern Jazz Quartet,

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Jazz Unlimited
12:43 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

An Interview With Marty Ehrlich And A Tribute To Cedar Walton

Cedar Walton-2008
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, September 29 will be "An Interview With Marty Ehrlich and a Tribute to Cedar Walton.”  University City High School graduate, reed man Marty Ehrlich visits Jazz Unlimited to discuss his career, an open forum at the Regional Arts Commission on Thursday, October 3 at 7:00 p.m.

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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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