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, Parlanto 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.
TRIBUTE PAGE TO THE LATE EDDIE JEFFERSON
Born Pittsburgh August 3, 1918
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
Erroll Garner, Billy Ecstine, Tina Pratt, Dakota Staton, Nelson , Earl "Fatha" Hines, Kenny Clarke, Art Blakey, Stanley Turrentine, Tommie Turrentine
Edgar J. "Eddie" Jefferson Born August 3 1918 PITTSBURGH PA - Tragically murdered outside "Baker's Keyboard Lounge, Detroit Michagan. May 9,
1979. CONVERSATION FROM A LIVE EDDIE JEFFERSON INTERVIEW WITH RUSTY HASSAN ON WPFW FM 89.3 WASHINGTON DC IN 1974 . ALS0 RICHIE COLE & GEORGE V JOHNSON JR."NEXT IN LINE" PRESERVED FOR HISTORICAL PURPOSES. FAN SITE ONLY! KEEP THE DREAM ALLIVE!
HOW I GOT INTO VOCALESE was for the love of the music, listening to it. Understanding it and really loving it like I say. I just heard a story. There were so many good horn players out there during the time. I couldnt get into the competition of being a horn player, so I figure Ill sing it. Its the best you can do and no one else was really doing anything along that order so I thought lyrics to be the appropriate for a lot of the solos to keep them alive a little longer. So back in the late 30s I went into this. Like 38 the Nancy Stomp, Taxi War Dance, and later on Blue in Sentimental with Hershal Evans, Lester Young on clarinet. I started doing solos for my own pleasure. I found out other people like to hear them and thats how I started out! Back before that dancing was the main thing. In my tap dancing days I danced with the old stars like the Jackie Gleason, Milton Burrel, the great Irish tenor Lanny Ross, Edith Fellows a young singer and movie star in those days that sing with Benny Goodman. I used to work with the Bob Cats, you know theater dates with Bob Crosby and the Bob Cats. Regular Vaudeville before it went out. The last of it.
Well? Moodys Mood" was an accident. My fiancee and I were around the house and we always liked that solo and I started singing there you go, there you go something and just passing words and she would come up with a word and we had a song with Moodys solo and other people used to come to the house and say will you sing us that song for us . Id go to other towns and do it and King Pleasure heard it, he learned it, recorded it and thats how it came to the publics attention. Thank you King Pleasure! I did my first session in Pittsburgh. A company called HI-LO came from New York to Pittsburgh to record because I couldnt leave Pittsburgh because my dancing business was very heavy. They came and recorded my first one. Two 78s. It was my first album with Bob Weinstock.
My association with Moody was a 17 year association. As a matter of fact Moody talked me into coming out to the public doing this style. I worked with him in the Theater. His band was backing me up as a tap dancer and I use to open with my partner Irv Taylor who incidentally was on Old Shoes. He was my dance partner for years. He could sing this stuff and we could both sing it equally. Wed both do the solos and right now I think he could sing this thing as equally as I can right now or better. Anyway Moody said come on and work with me for a minute. Cause my partner and I were going to have 2 weeks off before we went to the mountains. So I ended up. So a minute ended up 17 years with James Moody. The dancing thing was getting low anyway. Moody was a great, great player. He inspired me completely and showed me how do get deep into the music and climb into it like you put your coat on and live in it. And thats the only way you can make it. He was in Vegas at the time. To be continued...
I´d really appreciate it if you could take the time to look at my work and leave your impressions here or in the guestbook on my homepage -http://www.miartemartagracielabressi.webs.com/- where there are more samples of my digital art works, engravings and sculptures. The web site´s in Spanish but, if you want to read the texts in English, you can access my Livejournal:
You can also visit the website we created with the Belgian jazz musician Dirk Schreurs to make our recent video art collaboration known to the world:
http://www.mindsofglass.webs.com/ ¨ Minds of Glass: ¨All visual compositions perfectly match the soundtrack’s expressive aesthetics in terms of emotional content and artistic strength” (New York/Los Angeles Independent Media Board).