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
10:36 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

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

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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Jazz Unlimited
7:55 am
Sun February 17, 2013

Jazz Artists of History With Major Birthdays In February; Tribute To Donald Byrd

David "Fathead" Newman-2003
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Some jazz greats have major birthdays in February.  The February  Jazz Unlimited show will include reed players John Handy, Buddy DeFranco, Harold Land and Dexter Gordon and many others.  In addition we will have a tribute to jazz great Donald Byrd, who passed away February 4.

Check out my photos of some of the musicians heard on tonight's show.

>> Playlist

Jazz Unlimited
9:44 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Jazz Cities: Chicago-Part 2

Kurt Elling-2005
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

On the Sunday, February 10 Jazz Unlimited, we continue our series on urban centers that have brought great musicians to jazz by having teachers and institutions that bring them into the music at an early age.  The Jazz Cities series will feature the second part on musicians born in or nurtured early in their careers in Chicago.  Some of the musicians and groups featured will be blues pianist Jimmy Yancey, pianist Joe Sullivan, cornetist Muggsy Spanier, the Benny Goodman quartet with Lionel Hampton and Gene Krupa, vocalists Kurt Elling, Johnny Hartman, Abbey Lincoln and Patricia Barber, The

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Jazz Unlimited
11:02 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Jazz Cities: Chicago, Part 1

Milt Hinton-1983
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

On the Sunday, February 3 Jazz Unlimited, we continue our series on urban centers that have brought great musicians to jazz by having teachers and institutions that bring them into the music at an early age.  The Jazz Cities series will feature musicians born in or nurtured early in their careers in Chicago.  Some of the musicians include Joe "King" Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Frank Trumbauer, Earl Hines, Nat "King" Cole, Denny Zeitlin, Johnny Griffin, Junior Mance, Eddie Harris, Henry Threadgill, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Herbie Hancock, Anita O'Day and Andrew Hill.

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Jazz Unlimited
4:01 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

The Quieter Side Of Jazz And New Music

Dena DeRosa Quartet-2011
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz musicians occasionally use classical music themes for improvisation.  On the January 28, 2013 edition of Jazz Unlimited, the first hour will have music by Bach, Villa Lobos, Mozart, Pachelbel, Rachmaninov, Dvorak and Rodrigo played without horns.  The second hours will present new music with Dizzy Gillespie, Dena DeRose, Art Pepper, Marcus Roberts, Hal Russell and others.

>> Playlist

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Jazz Unlimited
6:08 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Jazz Artists Of History With Major Birthdays In January

Gary Burton-2002
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

The January 20 Jazz Unlimited show will present musicians who have major birthdays.  Most have passed on, while some are still going strong in their careers.  The musicians and their ages are as follows: vibists Milt Jackson (90) and Gary Burton (70), trumpeters Henry "Red" Allen (105) and "Hot Lips" Page (105) , guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli (85), reed players Haywood Henry (100) and Billy Harper (70), violinist Stephane Grappelli (105),  bassists Steve Gilmore (70) and Curtis Counce (90), and drummers Barry Altschul (70) and Osie Johnson (90).

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Jazz Unlimited
6:30 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Jazz Cities: Detroit, Part 2

Johnny O'Neal-1990
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

The Jazz Unlimited show for January 13 is part of a series on listening to musicians who were born or nurtured in specific urban centers.  This is the second of two parts on Detroit and its environs.  On tonight's show the featured musicians include pianists Johnny O'Neal, Ross Tompkins, Tommy Flanagan, Hank Jones, Carlos McKinney and Geri Allen, trumpeter and composer/arranger Thad Jones, saxophonists, Wardell Gray, Billy Mitchell, Pepper Adams and Hal Russell, drummers Louis Hayes, Alvester Garnett, Elvin Jones and Roy Brooks, violinist Regina Carter, bassists Ron Carter, Paul Chambers an

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