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

Bassist Richard Davis joins the ancestors on September 6, 2023 at 93.

Richard Davis (bassist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Richard Davis
Richard Davis at Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, Half Moon Bay, California, February 28, 1987
Richard Davis at Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, Half Moon Bay, California, February 28, 1987
Background information
Born April 15, 1930
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died September 6, 2023 (aged 93)
Genres Jazz, pop, classical
Occupation(s) Musician, educator
Instrument(s) Double bass
Labels Muse, Palmetto, Marge

Richard Davis (April 15, 1930 – September 6, 2023) was an American jazz bassist. Among his best-known contributions to the albums of others are Eric Dolphy's Out to Lunch!, Andrew Hill's Point of Departure, and Van Morrison's Astral Weeks, of which critic Greil Marcus wrote (in The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll), "Richard Davis provided the greatest bass ever heard on a rock album."[1]


Born on April 15, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois,[2] Davis began his musical career with his brothers, singing bass in his family's vocal trio.[3] He studied double bass in high school with his music theory teacher and band director, Walter Dyett. He was a member of Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (then known as the Youth Orchestra of Greater Chicago) and played in the orchestra's first performance at Chicago's Orchestra Hall on November 14, 1947. After high school, he studied double bass with Rudolf Fahsbender of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra while attending VanderCook College of Music.

After college, Davis performed in dance bands. The connections he made led him to pianist Don Shirley.[2] In 1954, he and Shirley moved to New York City and performed together until 1956,[2] when Davis began playing with the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra. In 1957, he became part of Sarah Vaughan's rhythm section, touring and recording with her until 1960.[2]

During the 1960s, Davis was in demand in a variety of musical circles. He worked with many of the small jazz groups of the time, including those led by Eric Dolphy, Jaki Byard, Booker Ervin, Andrew Hill, Elvin Jones, and Cal Tjader.[2] From 1966 to 1972, he was a member of The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra.[2] He has also played with Don Sebesky, Oliver Nelson, Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, Joe Henderson and Ahmad Jamal.[4]

Davis recorded with pop and rock musicians in the 1970s, appearing on Laura Nyro's Smile, Van Morrison's Astral Weeks (for which Davis also served as de facto bandleader during the recording sessions[5]), and Bruce Springsteen's Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. and Born to Run. During his career he performed classical music with conductors Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, Leopold Stokowski, and Gunther Schuller.[4]

After living in New York City for 23 years, he moved to Wisconsin in 1977 and became a professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison,[2] teaching bass, jazz history, and improvisation. His former students include William Parker, David Ephross, Sandor Ostlund, Hans Sturm, Alex Kalfayan, Ryan Maxwell and Karl E. H. Seigfried.[6]

Richard Davis died on September 6, 2023, after two years in hospice care. He was 93.[7]

Awards and honors[edit]



  1. ^ Marcus, Greil. The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 115. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.
  3. ^ Ron Wynn. "Richard Davis | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b "Richard Davis". Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  5. ^ Heylin, Clinton (2003). Can You Feel the Silence? Van Morrison: A New Biography, Chicago Review Press, ISBN 1-55652-542-7
  6. ^ "The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music | Richard Davis". 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
  7. ^ Chappell, Robert (September 7, 2023). "Richard Davis, international jazz legend and champion of racial ju.... Madison365. Retrieved September 7, 2023.
  8. ^ "NEA Jazz Masters: Richard Davis". National Endowment for the Arts. Archived from the original on July 6, 2013. Retrieved June 27, 2013.

External links[edit]

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