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The Career Of Tony Williams

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 pioneers of jazz-rock fusion.  We will hear him with Two Miles Davis quintets, Tommy Flanagan, Stan Getz & Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Grachan Moncur III, Hank Jones, Charles Lloyd, Don Pullen, Sam Rivers, Larry Young, John McLaughlin, Stanley Clarke, Andrew Hill and the Gil Evans Orchestra.  Tony Williams died tragically in 1997 of a heart attack following routine gall bladder surgery.

The Slide Show contains my photographs of some of the artists heard on this Show.

This Archive of the show will be available until the morning of January 18, 2016.

Here is a video of the Second Great Miles Davis Quintet of Miles (tp) Wayne Shorter (ts) Harbie Hancock (p) Ron Carter (b) and Tony Williams (d) playing "Agitation" in Stockholm in 1963.  Tony Williams was 18 years old.

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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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