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

OCTOBER 5, 2018 2:50PM PT

Hamiet Bluiett, Legendary Jazz Saxophonist, Dies at 78

Legendary jazz saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett passed away Thursday at the age of 78, according to the St. Louis American. Widely considered to be one of the greatest baritone saxophonists in jazz history, he was active for more than five decades, performing with Charles Mingus, Babatunde Olatunji, Abdullah Ibrahim, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and others, and his influence cast a long shadow over the genre.

Bluiett was in Brooklyn, Illinois, near St. Louis in 1940 and studied several instruments as a child, settling on baritone saxophone at the age of ten. He played with various bands throughout his teens and joined the Navy band in 1961. Returning to St. Louis in the mid-1960s, he co-founded the multi-discipline Black Artists’ Group and worked with it for several years.

In 1969, he moved to New York and joined the Charles Mingus Quintet and Sam Rivers’ large ensemble. In 1976 he co-founded the World Saxophone Quartet with Julius Hemphill and Oliver Lake, fellow veterans of the Black Artists’ Group, and David Murray. The group continued with several lineup changes over the following decades (including one with Branford Marsalis), releasing some 21 albums. Along with that group, over the past three decades has also formed and performed with the Bluiett Baritone Nation — made up of baritone saxophones with percussion accompaniment — and the Clarinet Family, a group of eight clarinetists, along with session work.

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Published 03/20/2019   

Oliver Lake Remembers Hamiet Bluiett

The poet composes a lyric farewell for the saxophonist (9/16/40 – 10/4/18)

Knitting Factory, June 29, 1997

Hamiet Bluiett passed away on Oct. 4, 2018. (photo by: Alan Nahigian)


LUIETT!  But, What is his real name?

Bluiett ! Bluiett is his real name

Oh, I thought it was a nick name, because he blew the horn,


man! did he blow the horn

like no one else he sounded

sounded, high, low, long & loud

Bluiett blew with the world, World Saxophone Quartet that is…

Bluiett blew with the spirits, blew with the drums

blew with the things & strings

But, What is his real name?

Bluiett ! Bluiett is his real name

He could also make you laugh

and sting you right after that

he was/is a Soul brother

a natural teacher/preacher

with sounds / words

cosmic teachings

and don’t talk about how sensitive an ear he possessed,

he would say “Lake, I hear changed reeds”

he was observing all the time      all the time

But, What is his real name?

Bluiett ! Bluiett is his real name


the undisputed master of the baritone saxophone

“In this corner”         “In this corner”     baritone saxophone innovator

beep, honk, scream, pray, dance, jazz, inside, outside, meditate, groove, jump!

You had to be ready for him

His mission was to bring happiness & joy thru the music

But, What is his real name?

LOVE   ■


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