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The Music of Sonny Clark

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, August 19, 2018 will be “The Music of Sonny Clark.”  Pianist Sonny Clark was born in a coal-mining town near Pittsburgh.  Apparently self-taught, he began playing professionally while visiting the west coast.  He eventually moved to New York and recorded several classic Blue Note recordings before dying at age 32, a victim of the 1950’s heroin epidemic.  We will hear him with the Lighthouse All-Stars, his own trio, quintet and sextets, our own Grant Green, Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan, Dexter Gordon, Serge Chaloff, Jackie McLean, Curtis Fuller, Buddy DeFranco and Sonny Rollins. Our own John Hicks and John Zoen and the Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet will play his compositions and Bill Evans will play his own composition written in tribute to Clark.

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

The Archive of this show will be available until the morning of August 27, 2018.

This is a picture of Sonny Clark and "Philly Joe" Jones at the 1957 Sonny Clark Trio session.  The tune is "Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise."

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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