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
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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Dennis Owsley
2:06 pm
Sat July 13, 2013

Jazz from Newport and Monterey-Part 1

Flip Phillips (ts) Ray Brown (b) Snookie Young (tp) Urbie Green (tb) [heard on tonight's show]-1988
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited Sunday evening, July 14 will have “Music from the Newport and Monterey Jazz Festivals-Part One”   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, was canceled for a time and 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 festivals when they added popular rock groups to boost attendance.  Monterey has run uninterrupted for 55 years with its make-up of mainly

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Jazz Unlimited
10:43 am
Sat July 6, 2013

The Career Of Bassist Leroy Vinnegar

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

The Jazz Unlimited show for Sunday, July 7 will feature music from “The Career of Bassist Leroy Vinnegar.”  Leroy Vinnegar was born in Indianapolis in 1928.  He made it to Los Angeles in 1954 and became a fixture on the scene there, working as both a performing artist and a studio musician, playing on over 600 recordings.  Vinnegar was know for his big sound and walking bass lines interspersed with “double stops” to provide grace notes and rhythmic interest.  During his career he was heard most notably with Shelly Manne, Andre Previn, les McCann, Teddy Edwards, Harold Land and his hometown

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Jazz Unlimited
8:20 am
Tue June 18, 2013

More New Music

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

The June 23 Jazz Unlimited show will have new music featuring a duet between pianists Jaki Byard and Tommy Flanagan, vocalist Ben Sidran, pianists Joey Calderazzo, Monty Alexander and Keith Jarrett, alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw, the Jim Widner Big Band and a five part Suite called "Hagar’s Song" by Charles Lloyd and Jason Moran.

The slide show has images of some of the musicians heard on this show.

This Archive of the 6/23/13 show will be available until Monday morning 7/1/13

Jazz Unlimited
11:46 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Tributes To Mulgrew Miller and Ed Shaughnessy; New Music

Mulgrew Miller-2010
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for June 16 will feature tributes to the late Mulgrew Miller and the late Ed Shaughnessy.  In addition, there will be new music featuring Dave Douglas, Gerald Clayton, Lionel Loueke, Freddy Cole, Ian Dogole, the Bad Plus, Jack DeJohnette, Grant Green, John and Ravi Coltrane, Charles Lloyd and St. Louisans Keith Moyer, James “Jabbo” Ware and Jim Widner and his Big Band.

The Slide Show contains images of some of the artists heard on tonight's show.

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.

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