Pain Relief Beyond Belief





From Blakey to Brown, Como to Costa, Eckstine to Eldridge, Galbraith to Garner, Harris to Hines, Horne to Hyman, Jamal to Jefferson, Kelly to Klook; Mancini to Marmarosa, May to Mitchell, Negri to Nestico, Parlan to Ponder, Reed to Ruther, Strayhorn to Sullivan, Turk to Turrentine, Wade to Williams… the forthcoming publication Treasury of Pittsburgh Jazz Connections by Dr. Nelson Harrison and Dr. Ralph Proctor, Jr. will document the legacy of one of the world’s greatest jazz capitals.


Do you want to know who Dizzy Gillespie  idolized? Did you ever wonder who inspired Kenny Clarke and Art Blakey? Who was the pianist that mentored Monk, Bud Powell, Tad Dameron, Elmo Hope, Sarah Vaughan and Mel Torme? Who was Art Tatum’s idol and Nat Cole’s mentor? What musical quartet pioneered the concept adopted later by the Modern Jazz Quartet? Were you ever curious to know who taught saxophone to Stanley Turrentine or who taught piano to Ahmad Jamal? What community music school trained Robert McFerrin, Sr. for his history-making debut with the Metropolitan Opera? What virtually unknown pianist was a significant influence on young John Coltrane, Shirley Scott, McCoy Tyner, Bobby Timmons and Ray Bryant when he moved to Philadelphia from Pittsburgh in the 1940s?  Would you be surprised to know that Erroll Garner attended classes at the Julliard School of Music in New York and was at the top of his class in writing and arranging proficiency?


Some answers  can be gleaned from the postings on the Pittsburgh Jazz Network.


For almost 100 years the Pittsburgh region has been a metacenter of jazz originality that is second to no other in the history of jazz.  One of the best kept secrets in jazz folklore, the Pittsburgh Jazz Legacy has heretofore remained mythical.  We have dubbed it “the greatest story never told” since it has not been represented in writing before now in such a way as to be accessible to anyone seeking to know more about it.  When it was happening, little did we know how priceless the memories would become when the times were gone.


Today jazz is still king in Pittsburgh, with events, performances and activities happening all the time. The Pittsburgh Jazz Network is dedicated to celebrating and showcasing the places, artists and fans that carry on the legacy of Pittsburgh's jazz heritage.






Duke Ellington is first African-American and the first musician to solo on U.S. circulating coin



       In Her Own Words

The COL Jazz Band is an incredible group of young players who represent the future of the genre. The new release "Hazelwood" has fusion, straight ahead, Latin, even a funky spoken word track. You name it, it's all there. Pay very close attention to this group of young musicians. As if listening to it weren't amazing by itself, you then realize that they wrote most everything themselves produced it and mixed it. These young men conjure up the spirit of Pittsburgh Jazz greats in the way they sound. Close your eyes and you think you are listening to the Jazz Messengers. Without any doubt they are the future of Pittsburgh Jazz.

The new recording is a collection of 14 tunes put together by a collective of 11 very talented young people. Let's review shall we? COL Jazz is a God inspired relevant musical mix of the past, present, and future. The band integrates contemporary and standard songs with the history-rich tradition of jazz. Along with his sons Tim Jr. and Isaiah, Executive Director Tim Smith Sr. started COL Jazz band. Since 2000 COL Jazz has provided young gifted instrumentalists with the opportunity to play at a professional level around the city, state and country. As part of a larger program known as the KRUNK Movement, students in COL Jazz seek to use their talents to bring knowledge about music, health and business to youth everywhere. The band was given a jump-start with the help of friends Cornelius Martin and Doug Ransaw who supported the group with their time, talent, and equipment. Since then the band has expanded to include many musically talented students from middle school through college.

2012 has been a great year for the group. After a close 2nd place finish in 2011, the Center of Life Jazz band returned to Monterey California’s Next Generation Jazz Festival determined to make a statement. Over the last year, the band worked hard on improving their compositions, performance technique and professionalism. The group was named the winner of the Next Generation Jazz Festival’s Open Combo Division. This September they will perform at this year’s Monterey Jazz Festival!

A delightful recording, standouts cuts on the new recording include “Amalfi Coast”, “Anton's Blues”, “Beautiful Ambitions” and “Battle Cry”.

To get additional information on Center of Life go to:

The CD is available at:

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