Modern Jazz Quartet

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 "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

The Sunday, April 20  Jazz Unlimited will be “Compositions of Duke Ellington.”   April marks the 115th 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, Jam

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

The Sunday, March 9 Jazz Unlimited show will be  “Live Jazz from Other New York Venues, Part 2.”  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 conclude 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.  The musicians feature include trumpeter Bobby Hackett with trombonist Vic Dickenson, the Art Tatum Trio, Sarah Vaug

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,

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

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

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

On November 25, 2012, we will play something unusual.  String quartets in jazz are usually reading ensembles doing transcriptions or supporting soloists.  A few do improvise.  The Keys and Strings Hour feature on string quartets will feature the Kronos Quartet, the Turtle Island String Quartet, the Beaux Arts String Quartet, and the Zapolski String Quartet, along with soloists Jim Hall (guitar) and the Modern Jazz Quartet.  The second and third hours of Jazz Unlimited will feature new music by Joe Newman, Keith Jarrett, Art Pepper, Dena DeRose, Bill McHenry along with two rare recordings by