Miles Davis

The Heath Brothers

Sep 19, 2016
Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for September 26, 2016 is “The Heath Brothers.”  The Philadelphia-born Heath brothers, bassist Percy (1923-2005), saxophonist, arranger, composer Jimmy Heath (born 1926) and drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath (born 1935) have been a force in jazz since the late 1940’s to the 1950’s up to the present.  They will be heard as individuals and with each other in a variety of musical contexts with King Pleasure, Bobby Timmons, Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, Wes Montgomery, Paul Desmond, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Red Garland, Sonny Rollins, Nina Simone, Thelonious Monk, Cecil Payne

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Jazz Unlimited will feature “John Coltrane in His Own Words and Music,” on Sunday. Jazz Unlimited airs from 9 p.m. to midnight, on St. Louis Public Radio, 90.7 FM.

Miles Davis' childhood home is without siding. Workers are installing a new roof.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Inside the shell of a modest house in East St. Louis, there is nothing to let a visitor know that one of the nation’s most noted musicians once called it home.

The interior of the one-story structure is skeletal — all bare studs and dust. But when Lauren Parks and Jasper Gery Pearson are inside, they can see the space where a young Miles Davis got his start in life, years before creating the music that would make him one of the biggest names in jazz. They hope to turn the trumpeter’s childhood home into a museum and educational space that will inspire children.

Live From Montreux

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

Jazz Unlimited for June 3, 2016 will be “Live at Montreux.”  The Montreux Jazz Festival celebrates its 50th year this July.  It is the most recorded jazz festival in the world.  Unlike many jazz festivals, Montreux is not afraid of the avant-garde.  “Live at Montreux” will feature music from Ella Fitzgerald, Monty Alexander, Les McCann & Eddie Harris, Ray Bryant, Abdullah Ibrahim, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, the Art Blakey Big Band. Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Albert Mangelsdorff, Don Pullen’s African/Brazillian Connection, Ahmad Jamal.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, June 5, 2016 will be “The Career of Milt Jackson.”  Vibraphonist Milt Jackson (1923-1999) was born in Detroit and started playing guitar at age seven and piano at age 11.  His music came from the church.  Dizzy Gillespie discovered him in 1945.  Best known for his long tenure with the Modern Jazz Quartet, his career in jazz spanned 54 performing years with artists that ranged from Ray Charles and Woody Herman to Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane.   In addition to his own groups, we will bear Jackson with Fats Navarro, Cole

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for May 8, 2016 will be  “Compositions Associated with Miles Davis.”  Trumpeter Miles Davis was one of the most important and innovative figures in jazz from 1947 until his death in 1991.  But, throughout his career and up until today, the provenance of some of the compositions he claimed as his have been in dispute.  We will hear his compositions along with those that are in dispute.  They will be played by Miles himself, Charlie Parker, Ray Bryant, J.J.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, May 1, 2016 will be “The Career of Jimmy Cobb.”  Best known for his associations with Miles Davis and the Wynton Kelly Trio, drummer Jimmy Cobb is now 87 and still going strong.  He was born in Washington D.C.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, April 3, will be “The Career of Ron Carter.”  Ron Carter is the most recorded bassist in jazz.  In his 50-year career, he has played with just about everybody.  This show includes Carter’s playing with Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Jim Hall, Benny Carter, The Great Jazz Trio, Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Eric Dolphy, T.S. Monk, The Kronos Quartet, Tadd Dameron, Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Barron, Geri Allen, Gil Evans, Abby Lincoln, McCoy Tyner, Andrew Hill, Chick Corea, Joe Henderson, Shirley Horn, St. Louis' own Fred Tompkins and Freddie Hubbard. 

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for March 20, 2016 is “The Music of Sonny Rollins.”  Tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins is one of the greatest living improvisers in jazz.  Over his sixty plus year career, he has taken part in many recordings as both a leader and sideman.  He has also composed well-known jazz standards that remain challenging today.  We will him with his own groups, Bud Powell, Brown/Roach Inc. Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk.  His compositions will be played by St. Louisan Grant Green with Sonny Clark, J.J.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited  for January 10, 2016 will be “The Career of Tony Williams.”  A child prodigy, drummer Tony Williams was born in Chicago in 1945 but was raised in Boston.  A student of Alan Dawson, Williams was playing professionally at age 13 with Sam Rivers and other advanced musicians.  At 17, he joined the Miles Davis Quintet and revolutionized the way rhythm sections have played since the mid-1960’s.  According to Drummer magazine, his playing suggested melody, counter-point, and harmony, which has been a revelation to most drummers since the 1960s.  He was one of the

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for October 25, 2015 will be “A Tribute to Willie Akins and New Music.”   St. Louis saxophonist Willie Akins died September 23, 2015 from congestive heart failure.  Akins worked in New York during the 1960, but returned to St.

Photo courtesy of the artist.

There’s no reason  for fans of the man who “defined cool” to be “Kind of Blue” this weekend as the Miles Davis Memorial project plans to unveil its sculpture of the renowned jazz musician in Alton.  A musical celebration that will put a swing in the step of local jazz aficionados will accompany the unveiling.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, September 6 will be “The Career of Jack DeJohnette.”  Drummer Jack DeJohnette has been one of the major drummers in jazz since 1965.  Born in Chicago, he was an early member of the AACM and played with Charles Lloyd, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, and Keith Jarrett as well as leading his own groups.  He was one of the first drummers to use rock rhythms in a jazz context.  DeJohnette will be heard tonight with his own groups, Keith Jarrett, Betty Carter, Jackie McLean, Chick Corea, Jerry Hahn, Don Byron, Charles Lloyd, D.D.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, August 9 will be “The Career of Dave Holland.”  Bassist Dave Holland was born in England in 1946.  He is self-taught, one of the few modern jazz musicians without conservatory training.  Holland has been a professional musician since 1964.  Miles Davis and Philly Joe Jones discovered him in Ronnie Scott’s club in London in 1968.  Since that time, he has played with many of the greatest musicians in jazz and taking part in 319 recordings, 24 as a leader.  This show will highlight his work with his own groups and big band, Miles Davis, Charles Lloyd, Claudia Acuňa,

Jazz Unlimited for July 5 will be “The Music of Red Garland.”  Pianist William “Red” Garland was born in Dallas, Texas and was an integral part of Miles Davis’s 1950’s groups and recorded prolifically for Prestige.  He developed a never repeated block chord technique that gave a shimmering sound to his playing.  Early in his life, Red was a middleweight boxer, fighting a young Ray Robinson.  He gave up boxing to save his hands, but his left-hand rhythms bounced with the rhythm of a boxer.  Red Garland was active from the early 1950’s until 1962, when he returned to Dallas to care for his ai

Palumbo

How many of this summer’s park concerts have been rained out? We’re betting a lot. And to try to change the mojo a little, this installment is going to include an indoor option.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for May 31, 2015 will be “Jazz Giants for May and June.”  Throughout its history, certain key players have heavily influenced the course of jazz.  These Jazz Giants are the ones that lesser players imitate and copy.  Jazz Unlimited always plays the Jazz Giants instead of the imitators.  Sunday night’s music will feature Bix Beiderbecke, Frank Trumbauer, Joe “King” Oliver, Fats Waller, Benny Goodman, Miles Davis, Shelly Manne, Freddie Redd, Betty Carter, Woody Herman, Eric Dolphy, Chick Corea, Bud Shank, Bill Holman, Betty Carter and Sun Ra.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for May 10, 2015 will be “Exploring Kind of Blue.”  Miles Davis’s iconic album is the best selling jazz album in history.  By changing the harmonic underpinnings of the music from many chords to few chords with scales that related to them, known as modes, the music became light and airy and more approachable.  We will explore all of the tunes in this album with big bands, vocalists and small groups.  Some of the groups and musicians heard tonight include the Miles Davis sextet, the Grant Green quartet, the J.J.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for April 19 will be “The Music of Herbie Hancock.”  Jazz Master Herbie Hancock has been actively been writing, performing and recording his original music for 54 years.  His early success with Blue Note records and with Miles Davis provided a springboard for an exceptionally creative life.  He has written and performed in several different styles of music.  Born in Chicago, he was recognized as a prodigy, playing a movement the 26th Mozart Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony at age 12.  He simultaneously earned engineering and music degrees from Grinnell College.  His e

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, March 8 will be “Jazz Musicians with Long Performance Careers. Part 4.”  Like their classical counterparts, most major jazz musicians have long performing careers.  Jazz musicians who die young are not the norm, but in many cases, it is these musicians we choose to remember.  The last jazz Unlimited show in this series will feature 54 musicians with performing careers of over 50 years.  These musicians include St.

Heard on "Jasbo Brown Blues," "I Got Plenty O'Nuttin'," "Oh Bess, Oh Where's My Bess" and "There's Dat's Leavin' for New York"
Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, January 18 will be “Gershwin-Part 3: Porgy and Bess.”  “Porgy and Bess” really resonated with jazz musicians.  Forty versions of it have been recorded since 1950.  This show will feature music from five versions of the opera by: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, Cleo Laine and Ray Charles, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Miles Davis and Gil Evans and Joe Henderson.  Additional artists who will be heard are Johnny Hartman, Herbie Hancock, Stefon Harris & Blackout, Shirley Horn, Lynne Arriale, Bennie Wallace, Nina Simone and Fred Hersch.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited on Sunday, November 2 will present music from the 51-year of Armando “Chick” Corea.  Chick was born in the Boston area and was working professionally by his late teens.  His career includes straight-ahead jazz, avant-garde jazz, jazz-rock fusion and classical music.  We will hear music from his groups Return to Forever, Origin, his duets with Gary Burton and his own trio.  He will also be heard with Herbie Hancock, the Donald Byrd/Pepper Adams group, Miles Davis and the Joe Henderson Big Band.  Many of his compositions are now jazz standards and some of them will be played an

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for September 28 will be “Keys and Strings Hour/New Music.”  Piano fireworks and great beauty abound when we present new music from four of the greatest pianists in current jazz.  Chick Corea, Hiromi, Lynne Arriale and Keith Jarrett will be presented in solo, piano duet, piano bass duo and piano trio configurations on the “Keys and Strings Hour.”  The new music segment will feature trumpeter Sean Jones, vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, saxophonist Azar Lawrence, the Dave Liebman Big Band, pianist Kenny Werner, Arturo O’Farril and his orchestra, th

Photo courtesy of the artist.

Miles Davis once said, “Always look ahead, but never look back.” Yet some Alton residents believe looking back is a matter of pride.

The Miles Davis Memorial Project maintains a varied fundraising approach in its effort to erect a statue in Davis’ honor. The group has held events, started Indiegogo campaigns and gathered donations.

Photographer Unknown / Courtesy of the Menees family

Jazz Unlimited on Sunday, July 20 will feature “The Jazz History of St. Louis, Part 3: World War II and Its Aftermath."  The period saw the formation of the George Hudson Orchestra and the early careers of Miles Davis, Clark Terry, Jimmy Forrest, Ernie Wilkins, Charles Fox, Chris Woods, Velma Middleton and Arvell Shaw.  Some of the rare recordings include the recording debut of Wendell Marshall, two tunes recorded by Jimmy Forrest at the Bolo Club, a recording by the Tommy Dean Band, a V-disc recording by Clark Terry and His Section Eights, a recording made in St.

The May 11 Jazz Unlimited will be “The Music of Miles Davis.” Born in Alton, Il., and raised in East St.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

The April 6 edition of Jazz Unlimited will be “The Career of Paul Chambers.”  In his career from 1954-1969, bassist Paul Chambers participated in over 360 recording sessions.  His big sound and great time made him an invaluable player.  He was unusual because he would use the bow in some of his solos.  He is best known for his long tenure with Miles Davis, the Red Garland Trio and the Wynton Kelly Trio.  In this show, Chambers will also be heard with J.J.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for March 2, 2014 will be “Live Jazz from Other New York Venues, Part 1.”  Jazz played live is a different animal from jazz recorded in the emotionally sterile confines of a studio.  The energy and emotion reflected back from an audience to the performers brings about better performances.  We continue our survey of New York venues with smaller clubs and Lincoln Center as well as presenting music from clubs that we did not have time for on earlier shows.  We will feature duets between Dick Wellstood and Kenny Davern, Dick Hyman and Roger Kellaway and Joe Lovano and Hank Jones

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for January 5, 2014 will be “Live Jazz from Birdland, the Half Note and Sweet Basil.”  Energy reflected back to performing artists from an up close and personal audience often brings out the best in them.  We will feature live performances from Miles Davis, Bud Powell, Jim Hall, Clifford Brown, Lou Donaldson, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Nick Brignola, Abdullah Ibrahim, Count Basie with Sarah Vaughan, Lee Konitz, Bill Evans, Wes Montgomery with Wynton Kelly, Donald Harrison and Terence Blanchard, John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy with Booker Little, Paul Bley, Steve Lacy and

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited Sunday, November 10  will be “Live Jazz From Carnegie Hall-Part 1.”  While Carnegie Hall opened in 1881, jazz was not heard there until 1938, when Benny Goodman had the first jazz concert.  Since then many jazz concerts have been held there and some were recorded.  In the years since 1938, Carnegie Hall has hosted three of John Hammond’s “Spiritual to Swing” concerts with Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Charlie Christian, Big Joe Turner and Lester Young; Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts with Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Flip Phillips and Oscar P

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