Duke Ellington

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

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

The Sunday, April 17  Jazz Unlimited will be “Compositions of Duke Ellington.”   April marks the 117thth birthday of one of our greatest composers, Duke Ellington.  We will hear music that includes a 1932 medley in stereo, a suite for a film on the horse racing paintings of Degas, a vocal of one of his pieces from “Such Sweet Thunder,” a tribute to Shakespeare.  Other artists on the show include Al Cohn, Benny Carter, Horace Silver, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Johnny O’Neal, Ella Fitzgerald, Clarinet Summit, Buell Neidlinger, McCoy Tyner, the Vienna Art Orchestra, J

Hits Of The 1960's

Jan 3, 2016
Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for January 3, 2016 will be “Hits of the 1960’s.”  Since around 1955, jazz musicians rarely play the hit pop tunes of their time.  The reason is that many of these tunes do not have interesting melodies or chord progressions sufficiently challenging for these musicians to play them.  Some of them did and those will be the ones used by these musicians, some even into the 2000’s.  This music will be played by Duke Ellington, Grant Green, Debbie Lennon, Oscar Peterson & Milt Jackson, Fred Hersch, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Roberta Flack, Dexter Gordon, the World Saxophone Q

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for April 12 will be “The Compositions of Duke Ellington.”   Duke Ellington was one of the great composers of the 20th century.  His work lives on by continual performances and recordings by many artists in many musical genres.  We will focus on some longer compositions played by the maestro and mainly lesser-known compositions by other artists including Brooks Kerr, the Empire Brass, Betty Roche, the Either/Orchestra, Kurt Elling, Dizzy Gillespie, Cannonball Adderley, the Concord Jazz Festival All-Stars, Ella Fitzgerald, Dr.

Unknown / Unknown

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, March 1 will be “Remembering Clark Terry.”  One of our national treasures, St. Louis trumpeter and jazz educator Clark Terry died February 21 at the age of 94.  We will hear approximately 28 minutes of his voice, telling stories about his life.  The music will include Clark with Count Basie, Oscar Peterson, Benny Carter, Duke Ellington, his own Big B-A-D Band, Thelonious Monk, Coleman Hawkins, the Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band, St. Louisan Chris Woods, Abbey Lincoln, Tubby Hayes, J.J. Johnson and Lee Konitz.

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.

Heard on "Our Love Is Here To Stay" and "Let;s Call the Whole Thing Off
Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for January 11 will be “Gershwin-Part 2: Show, Film and Some Classical Music.”  This is the second part of a month-long listen to jazz versions of Gershwin compositions.  Tonight’s selection of music will include performances by Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, George Gershwin, the Gene Krupa Orchestra, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Urbie Green, Cassandra Wilson, Eric Dolphy & Makanda Ken Mcintyre, Donald Byrd & John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Young, our own Reggie Thomas, Ahmad Jamal, Les McCann and Marcus Roberts.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

The April 27  Jazz Unlimited will be  “The Keys and Strings Hour Plus New Music for April.”   April marks the 115th birthday of one of our greatest composers, Duke Ellington.  We will hear his music played without horns by Kenny Burrell, Abdullah Ibrahim, Tommy Flanagan, Duke Ellington, Jimmy Smith, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, Randy Weston and the Modern Jazz Quartet.  New music will feature a new, never heard CD of Ben Webster and Oscar Peterson, a trio led by the Unusual pianist Billy Tipton, jazz pioneer Carline Ray, guitarist Terence Brewer, the Jimmy Heath Big Band, Leo Parker, a ma

Winter Holiday Show

Dec 21, 2013
Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, December 22 will be “The Winter Holiday Show.”  Each year around the winter solstice, cultures around the celebrate the coming of longer days.  In this country, the major celebrations are Hanukah, solstice celebrations, Christmas and Kwanza.  We will feature some perennial favorites: Duke Ellington’s version of the “Nutcracker Suite,” Louis Armstrong’s reading of “The Night Before Christmas,” The Modern Jazz Quartet’s version of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” Count Basie’s version of “Jingle Bells” and Dexter Gordon’s version of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Chris

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,

The Sleep Cycle

Sep 9, 2013

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

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

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

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.

On the Sunday, December 23 edition of Jazz Unlimited, we celebrate the return of the sunlight and some of the celebrations around the Winter Solstice.  Specifically, the music will reflect the Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanza traditions.  The artists on the show include Pieces of Eight with Debby Lennon, Herbie Mann, Jess Stacy, Don Byron, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Dexter Gordon, Randy Weston, The Jim McNeely Tentette, Count Basie, John Coltrane with Eric Dolphy, Duke Ellington, The Kronos Quartet.  A special feature is the reading of the Clement Moore poem "The Night Before Christmas" by Loui

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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