Dizzy Gillespie | St. Louis Public Radio

Dizzy Gillespie

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for October 1, 2017 will be “The Music of John Lewis.”  Best known as the pianist and music director of the Modern Jazz Quartet, John Lewis was involved in much more.  During his over 50 year career, he played with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and was involved in the development of Third Stream music, a classical jazz hybrid.  We will hear him with the Modern Jazz Quartet, the Miles Davis “Birth of the Cool Band,” The Dizzy Gillespie Big Band and small groups, the American Jazz Orchestra, Clifford Brown and J.J.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Septemner 17, 2017 will be “The Dizzy Gillespie Centennial.”  Jazz needs a Dizzy Gillespie for his audience communication skills and basic humanity.  We will celebrate his hundredth birthday, which will be in October, with a survey of the music in his career mainly from a time when he was playing at his best technically and imaginatively.  We will hear Dizzy with his own groups and big bands, Cab Calloway, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge, Bud Powell, Oscar Peterson, Jazz At the Philharmonic, Quincy Jones, Benny Carter and

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for September 10, 2017 will be “The Music of Oscar Peterson.”  Pianist Oscar Peterson is reputed to be the most recorded pianist in jazz.  We will hear him with Ray Brown, Herb Ellis, Ed Thigpen, Ben Webster, Flip Phillips, Lester Young, Stan Getz & Lester Young, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Jazz At the Philharmonic, Lionel Hampton, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Sonny Stitt and Stuff Smith.  This show is part of the St.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for August 6, 2017 will be “Dexter Gordon in His Own Words.”  The great tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon was noted not only for his melodic solos that were compositions in their own right but also for inserting humorous quotes into his solos.  He had a great speaking voice and late in his career was nominated for an Oscar for his work in the film “‘Round Midnight.”  We will hear him in four monologues on various topics and with Dizzy Gillespie, the Billy Eckstine Orchestra, Wardell Gray, Herbie Hancock, Woody Shaw and with his own groups.  His compositions will be pla

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sundan, June 18, 2017 will be  “The Career of Wynton Kelly.”  Pianist Wynton Kelly graced many live and studio sessions with his clean, lively lines.  He was best known as an accompanist, pushing the music of Art Pepper, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery, Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Hank Mobley, Joe Henderson, Art Blakey, Milt Jackson, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington and Abbey Lincoln to new heights.  In addition, we will hear one of his compositions played by a group with seven tubas and a rhythm section.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited  for June 11, 2117 will be “The Career of  Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen.”   Also known as “the great Dane with the never ending name,” Ørsted Pedersen was born in 1946.  His father was a church organist.  He took piano lessons as a child, switched to bass at age 13 and made his first recordings at 14.  By 15 he was working regularly at Copenhagen’s famed Montmartre Jazzhus and by 16, toured Scandinavia with Bud Powell.  He recorded with Albert Ayler at age 17 and had a career accompanying Count Basie, Oscar Peterson, Dexter Gordon, Joe Pass, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillesp

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for June 4, 2017 will be “The Career of Lionel Hampton.”  Vibraphonist, drummer and vocalist Lionel Hampton was one of the first to bring the vibraphone into jazz as a solo instrument.  His out-sized personality kept his career going long after the swing era had faded.  We will hear him with artists as diverse as Paul Howard’s Quality Serenaders, Louis Armstrong, Nat “King” Cole, the Jim Cullum River Walk Jazz Band, Benny Goodman, Art Tatum, Buddy Rich, Dinah Washington, Oscar Peterson, Stan Getz, Charlie Christian, Chu Berry, Oscar Peterson, Johnny Hodges and Dizzy

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for February 26, 2017 will be “The Keys and Strings Hour + New Music.”  The Keys and Strings Hour,” or the quieter side of jazz will feature Sonny Rollins compositions played by Joe Pass, Junko Onishi, Grant Green & Sonny Clark, Phineas Newborn, Jessica Williams, Tommy Flanagan, Fred Hersch and Mal Waldron.  New music will feature a new release of a 1980 concert with Dizzy Gillespie and some bebop cohorts, Pedrito Martinez, the Ben Marklee Big Band playing Cedar Walton compositions, our own Fred Tompkins, Branford Marsalis & Kurt Elling, Jeremy Udden, Theo Bl

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for February 12, 2017 will be “Americans in Paris-Part 2.”  Many outstanding recordings with Americans were made in Paris beginning in 1937 and continuing up to today with such musicians as Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Evans, Lester Young, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, Max Roach, Jay McShann, Randy Weston, Duke Ellington, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, Keith Jarrett, Gerald Clayton, Albert Ayler and our own Black Artists Group.

The Slide Show contains my photographs of some of the artists heard on this show.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for  February 5, 2017 will be “Americans in Paris-Part 1.”  Paris has always been welcoming to American jazz musicians.  Many outstanding recordings with Americans have been made there starting in 1937 with recordings of visiting Americans with Django Reinhardt and Stephanne Grapelli and continuing with Mary Lou Williams, the Clifford Brown Big Band, Chet Baker, Dizzy Gillespie with Sarah Vaughan, the Duke Ellington Violin Summit & band, Gary Burton, Dexter Gordon and Bud Powell, Horace Silver, Oscar Peterson, Thelonious Monk, Circle, Larry Young, the Quincy Jone

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for December 4, 2016 is “The Music of J.J. Johnson.”  Trombonist J.J.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for November 13, 2016 will be “Re-Imagining of Familiar Tunes.”  Great Jazz musicians are constantly re-imagining tunes in their own style.  We will examine three famous tunes, “King Porter Stomp,” “St.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for October 30 is “Jazz Giants for September and October.”   Jazz giants are those musicians who have made exceptional contributions to jazz.  Our Jazz Giants show for September and October will present such musicians as Jimmy Blanton, Lester Bowie, Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Milt Jackson, Clifford Brown, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Horace Silver, Oscar Pettiford, Dave Holland, Ray Brown, Oliver Lake, Jelly Roll Morton, Sonny Rollins, Art Pepper and Gerald Wilson.

The Slide Show contains my photographs of some of the musicians heard on tonight's show.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for July 10, 2016 is “The Music of Benny Golson.”  Tenor saxophonist, composer and arranger Benny Golson was born in 1929 in Philadelphia and is still performing at age 87.  He is best known for the Jazztet and his compositions like “Killer Joe,” “I Remember Clifford,” “Blues March,” “Whisper Not,” “Stablemates” and “Along Came Betty,” among others.  Groups heard on this show are the Phineas Newborn, Jr.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, May 15, 2016 will be “The Music of Mary Lou Williams.”  Piano prodigy Mary Lou Williams taught herself piano at the age of six and was playing professionally by age seven.  Discovered in Kansas City in 1929, she wrote hundreds of compositions and arrangements for many bands as well as playing powerful jazz piano.  In the early 1950’s, she became a devout Catholic and wrote three masses (two unrecorded).  Her “Mass for Peace,” also known as “Mary Lou’s Mass,” was commissioned by the Pontifical Commission on Peace and Justice in March of 1969.  We will hear

Jazz Unlimited for 11/29/15 is "The Career of Joe Pass."  The New Yorker magazine said, “Joe Pass looks like somebody's uncle and plays guitar like nobody's business. He's called ‘the world's greatest’ and often compared to Paganini for his virtuosity.  Despite starting his solo career 13 years late due to unfortunate circumstances, Pass worked constantly from 1961 to 1994.

There are no photographs for this show.

This Archive of the show will be available until the morning of December 7, 2015.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

The Jazz Unlimited show for August 2 is “The Fifty Year Career of Kenny Barron.”  Born in Philadelphia in 1943, pianist Kenny Barron began his career in 1960 and was best known early in his career for his work with Dizzy Gillespie.  Since that time he is now considered to be one of the most important and influential mainstream jazz pianists since the bebop era.  We will hear him with his own groups, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Kevin Mahogany, Dave Holland, Benny Carter, Stan Getz, Regina Carter, Sphere, Judy Niemack, a six French horn ensemble, Joshua Breakstone, Ron Carter’s Piccolo Bass

Jazz Unlimited for February 15 is  “Jazz Musicians With Long Performance Careers-Part 3.”  While many jazz fans think that jazz musicians die young, data shows that this is not the case.  The month of February will be devoted to the music of over 200 major jazz artists who have performing careers of fifty years and longer.  Some of the 66 musicians heard in various combinations on this show include St. Louisans Red McKenzie, Trebot Tichenor, Singleton Palmer, Gus Perryman, Herb Drury, Dave Venn, Don Cunningham, Marion Miller,  Freddie Washington, John Hicks, and Willie Akins.

Food And Drink

Nov 22, 2014
Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, November 23 will present “Food and Drink.”  Thanksgiving is the season of gluttony and we will present music suggestive of the season, dividing the show into breakfast, lunch, libations and dinner selections.  The artists featured on this show include Bunny Berigan, Phineas Newborn, Jr., Les McCann, Art Tatum, Hank Mobley, Coleman Hawkins, Nat “King” Cole, Billie Holiday, Don Byas, Cyrus Chestnut, Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Lee Morgan, Gene Harris, Eddie Harris, Dizzy Gillespie.

Ray Brown played and recorded with Dizzy Gillespie from 1945 to 1980.
Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, October 5 will be  “The Music of Dizzy Gillespie.”  Trumpeter, raconteur, composer and sometime vocalist John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie was one of the founding fathers of the jazz style known as bebop, a style whose variants remain the main jazz style today.  Bebop influenced many other music genres, including film scoring and bluegrass.  Dizzy also was instrumental in bringing Latin rhythms into jazz.  We will play music recorded between the years 1939 and 1987, along with some of his compositions played by others.  In addition to Gillespie, Woody Herman, Gonzalo R

Jam Sessions

Jun 14, 2014
Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

The June 15 Jazz Unlimited show will be “Jam Sessions.”  Jam sessions have been going on since the music started.  They can be contests where individual players test themselves against other players.  They can be situations in which an instrumentalist can try out new ideas and techniques.  They can be auditions for jobs with a certain bandleader and they can be situations where the musicians are having fun and experiencing higher-level communication than just talking.  Jam session records belong to a subset of jazz recordings.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, March 16 will present “The Career of Kenny Barron.”  Born in Philadelphia in 1943, this jazz piano master began his recording career in 1960 at the age of 17 with recordings with Yusef Lateef and his brother tenor saxophonist Bill Barron.  To date, Kenny Barron has 564 recording sessions to his credit with 54 as a leader.  He had a five-year stints with Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz and recorded with just about everyone who is anyone in jazz.  In addition to work on his own projects, tonight’s show presents Kenny Barron with Regina Carter, Kevin Mahogany, Clark Te

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for December will be "The Career of Charlie Parker.”  Saxophonist Charlie Parker is one of the most important musicians of the 20th century in any genre.  His phrasing and use of advanced harmony changed music in ways that are being still explored today.  Parker’s music was not a revolution from the swing styles of music and when playing with such players, fit elegantly into what they were doing.  His favorite “licks” or short phrases are heard everywhere, for example, in film music and bluegrass violin music.  In addition to Parker, Jay McShann, Dizzy Gillespie, Don Byas, De

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, December 1st will be “Live Jazz from Town Hall, New York City.”  We continue playing live music from the jazz capital of the world with concerts from Town Hall that span the years 1944 to 1990.  The artists featured are Eddie Condon and His All-Stars, Louis Armstrong and the All-Stars, the Dizzy Gillespie-Charlie Parker Quintet, four pieces from a Baron Timmie Rosenkranz concert in 1945, which includes the classic “I Got Rhythm” duet of Don Byas and Slam Stewart, Mary Lou Williams’ “Zodiac Suite,” Benny Carter, Red Norvo and Teddy Wilson, Thelonious Monk, the Chic

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

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.

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Jazz and Money

Oct 19, 2012

Money makes the world go 'round. This episode of Jazz Unlimited will feature Duke Ellington, Muggsy Sprecher, Benny Carter, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and others with tunes about money.

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