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The Career Of Ben Webster

Jazz Unlimited  for June 3, 2018 will be “The Career of Ben Webster.”  The show will start with an interview with trombonist Steve Turre about the upcoming Jazz Edge tribute to J.J. Johnson Concert at 7:00 p.m. on June 9 at Harris Stowe State University.  In his early years tenor saxophonist Ben Webster was known as “The Brute” for his brawling, aggressive solos.  A stint with Duke Ellington softened his approach and he became one of the finest ballad interpreters in jazz with a broad breathy tone.  We will hear Webster with Bennie Moten, Gerry Mulligan, Billie Holiday, Dexter Gordon, Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton, Fletcher Henderson, Sarah Vaughan, Oscar Peterson, Helen Humes, Jimmy Witherspoon, Jazz at the Philharmonic, a Norman Granz Jam Session, Duke Ellington, Richard “Groove Holmes, Oliver Nelson, Art Tatum and Johnny Hodges.

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

The Archive of this show will be available until the morning of June 10 2018.

Here is a rare reunion of Ben Webster (ts) and Duke Ellington (p) and the band playing "All Too Soon" in 1970

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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