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PITTSBURGH JAZZ

 

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.

 

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

    MARY LOU WILLIAMS     

            INTERVIEW

       In Her Own Words
JOHN PAPI
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"I remember vividly seeing Wendell Byrd playing at the "Smart Set"  on Central Avenue in Albany , NY in the Summer of '64 when I was just a teenage piano player just starting out (I had worked at the Smart Set a few times myself).…"
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"BILL  GOOD AS ALWAY TO HEAR FROM MY MAN, And it brings back loads of thoughts of the old days from playig music and kicking butts at the Haunted House on RT 51  ..I    AM SURE IF YOU WERE UP IN PGH.PA YOU WOULD WORK ALL THE …"
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"Hi John, Hope all is well.  Just joined the Jazzburger site.  Who knows, I may get invite to do a gig:)   Take care my friend   Bill Labant"
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Profile Information

Favorite website
http://www.papponebuilders.com
Pittsburgh Connection
Living room
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
Chuck Corby; JOHNNY VANN, JACK PETTIT, MARK KOCH SOUTHSIDE JERRY ,ROBBIE KLEIN, BILLY GEORGE ,ALBEE PRINCE..TOM DEJON & WALT..Wendell Byrd;..Keith Moorehouse,Richie Meritt BILL LABANT DRUMS..
Favorite Jazz Radio or media station
90.5 wdve
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
PGH .CULT.TRUST....OLD MON MUSIC.com
About Me:
Retired Organ.. Would like to thank RON IERACI, for all the kind words..
Website:
http://Papponebuilders.com
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At 8:54pm on June 5, 2014, Bill buchman said…

I remember vividly seeing Wendell Byrd playing at the "Smart Set"  on Central Avenue in Albany , NY in the Summer of '64 when I was just a teenage piano player just starting out (I had worked at the Smart Set a few times myself). It was one of the first times I saw and understood how dynamic and exciting a jazz performer could be. I remember he had a silver grey Jaguar which also impressed me. I remember his EBBTIDE which feature a passage of lightning fast block chords in triplets like I have never heard anybody including Jimmy Smith do that left every body gasping. He was to me, at that moment, the definition of cool. And I have always remembered his vivid musical performance that evening and wanted to know more about him. Thanks for all these posts on Wendell. (Didn't find any active video though.)

At 7:19pm on February 13, 2011, Bill Labant said…

Hi John,

Hope all is well.  Just joined the Jazzburger site.  Who knows, I may get invite to do a gig:)

 

Take care my friend

 

Bill Labant

At 6:59pm on March 25, 2010, Kevin Hurst, Sr. said…
Man I love the jazz organ, Hammond, Wurlitzer, whatever. I played with a mentor named Ross Mounds from Steelton ,Pa. in the Harrisburg area for 19 yrs and he is a B-3 man. When I was 16 a drummer took me from a wedding reception to the Elks and first got to play with an idol of mine. From playing funk and soul I was lucky to listen to radio and play 'it's Too Late ' in B minor because I had borrowed the previous band bass players flute. That was the first tune he called and I realized learning different styles in different keys would mean more work! If you still play I would love to hear and sit in when I roll through Pittsburgh. Tony Janflone plays with a cat who is an organ man? and I would like to check him out also. I talked to him and he is a great spirit. - kev
At 8:48pm on February 24, 2010, Marta Graciela Bressi said…
Dear JOHN PAPI,

Thanks for your comment.
Regards

Marta
At 6:54am on January 3, 2010, Sandy Papi said…
You were the "BEST" in the Burgh..
Listen to you still for hours..
Love ya
Sandy
At 2:39pm on October 8, 2009, Pascale Frossard said…
Thank you very much
I'm honored by your comment
Pascale
At 6:02am on October 4, 2009, Sandy Papi said…
Hey Big Brother, I am loven it!!!!!! B-3 all the way
At 5:18pm on September 25, 2009, Mark Koch said…
Thanks John! That would be an interesting trio to take on road.
Great playing, I miss the B3 sound, nobody's playing it around here anymore.
Hope all is well, tell Charm I said Hi!!
At 5:57pm on August 13, 2009, jerry byrd said…
just for the record wendell byrd was my brother
At 2:07am on June 24, 2009, Luther DeJarunett said…
Thanks, John! There were so many great rooms to play in back in the day! I used to come see you, and Chuck Corby, and the rest of the guys all the time when I wasn't working. Who else was in the band with you? Do remember playing at The Flaming Torch (it was The Hi Hat first)?

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