Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for July 24, 2016 will be “Mel Lewis and Big Bands.”  Tonight’s show is an all big band presentation of the great drummer Mel Lewis in his element.  Lewis was born in Buffalo in 1929 to immigrant parents.  He came to the West Coast with Stan Kenton in 1957 and stayed until 1963, when he moved to New York.  His drumming style was supportive of a band, rather than pushing it.  In 1965, Lewis and Thad Jones founded the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, one of the greatest big bands in jazz history.  The band played Monday nights at the Village Vanguard and toured all over

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, April 24, will be “The Keys and Strings Hour + New Music.” The Keys and Strings hour will feature pianist Keith Jarrett, one of the most amazing improvisers in jazz, in solo, duo and trio performances.  New music for April will include the debut live recording of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, the SF Jazz Collective performing the music of Michael Jackson, vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant, the Steve Kuhn Trio, the East-West Trumpet Summit, newly discovered live piano duets between Tommy Flanagan and Hank Jones, Ernie Wilkins’ Almost big Band, the Marc

Unknown / Courtesy of Richard Davis

Jazz Unlimited for December 13, 2015 will be “The Career of Richard Davis.”  Bassist Richard Davis was born in Chicago in 1930.  In high school, he studied with Captain Walter Dyett.  After college, he worked in dance bands and with Don Shirley.  He got to New York in 1954, playing with the Sauter-Finnegan Orchestra.  Davis accompanied Sarah Vaughan from 1957-1960.  During this time, he was building a studio career playing music of many genres.  His studio work included hit records by Laura Nyro (Smile) Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run) and Van Morrison (Astral Weeks

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for November 8, 2015 is “The Career of Sir Roland Hanna.”  Born in Detroit in 1932, Sir Roland Hanna studied at the Eastman School of Music and graduated from Julliard in 1960.  He was one of the most flexible of all the modern jazz pianists in that he was equally at home in big bands and small groups.  Hanna spent much of his career anchoring the Benny Goodman and Thad Jones/Mel Lewis big bands.  In 1970, he was named an honorary knight of Liberia.  We will hear him with Kenny Burrell, Richard Davis, Charles Mingus, Richard Davis, James Newton, Clark Terry, George Mraz, Jimm

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, November 3 will present some of the nearly sixty year career of valve trombonist, pianist, composer, arranger and teacher Bob Brookmeyer.  He has played with, arranged and composed for such people as Terry Gibbs, Clark Terry, the Birdland Dream Band, the Gerry Mulligan Quartet and Sextet, Stan Getz, the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, the Jimmy Giuffre Three, his own New Art Orchestra as well as his own small groups.  The show will include work by such artists as pianists Roger Kellaway and Hank Jones, saxophonists Coleman Hawkins, Al Cohn, Richie Kamuca, Bill Per