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The Jazz History Of St. Louis-Part 4: The 1950's

The Jazz Unlimited Sunday, July 27 show will be “The Jazz History of St. Louis, Part 4: The 1950’s.”  The period saw the founding of the St. Louis Jazz Club, the entertainment district known as the Debaliviere Strip, the opening of the Blue Note Club in Centreville, IL, and the refurbishing of the Glass Bar and renaming it Peacock Alley.  Music from the early careers of Oliver Nelson, Bob Graf, Hamiet Bluiett, Grant Green, Sammy Gardner, Jimmy Haislip and Muggsy Sprecher will be played.  Some of the rare recordings include the recording debut of the Singleton Palmer Dixieland Six, Dewey Jackson Live at the Barrel, Leo’s Five from the Blue Note Club, the Bob Graf/Grant Green recording at the Holy Barbarian on the DeBalliviere Strip and the Jazz Central nonet.  We will hear the voices of the people who made the history: Singleton Palmer, Miles Davis, Jeff Leopold, Norman Menne, Walter Dixon, Clark Terry, Lee Hyde, Herb Drury, Kenny Rice Charlie Menees, Harry Frost, Spider Burks, Kenny Rice and Phillip Wilson.

Check out the historical photographs in the slide show.

Here is the only extant video of Grant Green.  He is accompanied by Kenny Burrell and Barney Kessell at Ronnie Scott's in London, 1969.  The tune is "Blue Mist"

Dennis Owsley has broadcast a weekly jazz show for St. Louis Public Radio since April 1983. He holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and is a retired Monsanto Senior Science Fellow and college teacher. His show, Jazz Unlimited, airs every Sunday from 9:00 p.m. to midnight. The show has the largest jazz audience in St. Louis and was named Best Jazz Radio Show in St. Louis for the years 2005-2007 and 2009 by the Riverfront Times. In celebration of his 25 years on the air, January 24, 2008 was proclaimed Dennis Owsley Day" in the City of St. Louis. He is the 2010 winner of the St. Louis Public Radio Millard S. Cohen Lifetime Achievement Award. Dennis is also a noted photographer, and his exhibit, In the Moment: Photographs of Jazz Musicians, ran from September 23, 2005 to January 21, 2006 at the Sheldon Art Gallery. He is a lifetime student of jazz history and teaches short courses on the subject. Dennis is the author of the award-winning book City of Gabriels: The History of Jazz in St. Louis 1985-1973, published in 2006.

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