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The Career Of Tommy Flanagan

Jazz Unlimited for June 1, 2014 will be “The Career of Tommy Flanagan.”  One of the most respected pianists in jazz, Tommy Flanagan was born in 1930 in Detroit.  By the age of 15, he was playing professionally, doing his school homework backstage between sets.  At the urging of his fellow Detroiter, Kenny Burrell, Flanagan moved to New York in 1956.  In that year, he appeared on 13 jazz albums.  In his career, he was heard on 401 recording sessions, recording 50 albums as a leader.  He has five Grammy Nominations to his credit.  Flanagan was Ella Fitzgerald’s accompanist from 1962-1965 and from 1968-1978.  This show will feature Tommy Flanagan with St. Louisan Clark Terry, Ella Fitzgerald, Jaki Byard, the Sonny Criss Tentette, Wes Montgomery, Scott Hamilton, Gene Ammons, the Phil Woods Octet, Dizzy Gillespie, Jon Hendricks, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge, Johnny Hodges, the Slide Hampton Tentette, Steve Coleman, Kenny Wheeler, John Coltrane and Charles Mingus.  He played on three of the all-time greatest jazz albums: Wes Montgomery’s “Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery;” Sonny Rollins’ “Saxophone Colossus” and John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps.”

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

This Archive of he show will be available until he morning of June 8, 2014.

Here is a video of Tommy Flanagan (p) George Mraz (b) and Lewis Nash (d) playing the Dizzy Gillespie/Cnano Pozo tune "Tin Tin Deo." around 1990.

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.