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THE STRONG CARD

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.

 

WELCOME!

 

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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
LARRY MCGEE
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  • LOS ANGELES, CA.
  • United States
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Pittsburgh Connection
PITTSBURGH LOCAL MUSICIAN
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
MARY LOU WILLIAMS
STANLEY TURNTINE
ALAN BLAIRMAN
DAVID CAINE
GEORGE GREEN
GEORGE BENSON
DONALD JACKSON
LUTHER DEJARUNETT
GARY WALKER
TYRONE MITCHELL
WILLIAM HERDON
JOSEPH WESTRAY
EVELYN CHILDRESS
LAMONT RAY
CORDELL DUDLEY
WENDELL BYRD
EUGENE SMITH
EUGENE LUDWIG
BILL EASLEY
EDGAR WILLIS
EDDIE DAY
JAMES"BLOOD"ULMER
CHAD EVANS
JOSEPH GRAY
NELSON HARRISON
DEL KING
WARREN WATSON
WINSTON CARTER
NATHAN DAVIS
SLYVESTER GOSHAY
WILLIAM GAY
RODGER HUMPHRIES
RICHARD HARRIS
FRANKIE AVERY
EMMETT SMITH
NATHANIEL BENSON
RALPH TERRY
DAN PONDER
JON BARTEL
CHRISTOPHER DEAN SULLIVAN
LEO CASINO
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
THE HURRICANE
THE CRAWFORD GRILL
THE FOX CAFE
THE HI HAT
HARPERS LOUNGE
THE PYRAMID LOUNGE
About Me:
MY BROTHER, KENNY MCGEE FIRST TAUGHT ME HOW TO PLAY GUITAR AT TWEVLE YEARS OLD.
SEVEN MONTHS LATER, WILLIAM HERDON, OF GEORGE BENSON AND THE ALTAIRS DISCOVERED ME PLAYING A GUITAR WITH TWO MISSING/BROKEN STRINGS ON MY FRONT PORCH. HE GAVE ME MY FIRST PROFESSIONAL JOB AS GEORGE BENSON'S REPLACEMENT.
AT FOURTEEN I DID MY FIRST JAZZ GIG WITH EVELYN CHILDRESS,
I GOT THE CALL TO PLAY WITH MARY LOU WILLIAMS, BUT MY MOTHER INSISTED I STAY IN SCHOOL. AT FIFTHTEEN I PLAYED WITH ALAN BLAIRMAN AT THE SENATE CAFE ON FIFTH AVENUE.
ONE YEAR LATER BOBBY WATLEY LET ME PLAY SOMEONE ELSES GUITAR WHILE HE WAS SETTING UP HIS DRUMS AT AN IMPRESSIONS UNFORGETABLE
CONCERT. HE GAVE ME MY FIRST JOB PLAYING ON THE ROAD WITH HIM AND WINSTON WALLS(ORGANIST).
FOUR YEARS LATER I SET IN ON MELVIN SPARKS WITH LONNIE SMITH AT THE HURRICANE BAR ON CENTER AVENUE.
LONNIE GAVE ME MY FIRST JOB RECORDING FOR A MAJOR JAZZ RECORD LABEL(BLUE NOTE RECORDS).
AFTER SEVERAL YEARS ON THE THE ROAD I RETURNED HOME TO FORM MY OWN LOCAL GROUPS. AFTER OBTAINING A ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE IN BUSINESS MANAGEMENT, I RELOCATED TO LOS ANGELES, CA. TO FORM A SONGWRITING-PUBLISHING/PRODUCTION PARTNERSHIP WITH JOSEPH CACCAMISE JR. MY GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT "GEORGE BENSON CALLED ME AFTER HE RECORDED BREEZIN IN 1976 TO PLAY IN HIS BAND". THE PICTURE WITH HIM AND I TOGETHER , IS THAT DAY WHEN HE CAME AND GOT ME!
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Comment Wall (30 comments)

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At 12:48pm on January 18, 2013, Karl Kilcrease said…
Butch, Man, it is great to see you. George Green and I were discussing you, then his younger brother Robert and I were going down memory lane. If you have any recordings let's us know. I have that Lonnie Smith on wax, now I've got to pull it out. My brother, the best to you.
At 10:32pm on March 19, 2012, Dewayne Chandler said…

Great hearing from you larry. I hope all is well. GOD bless...

DC

At 8:14pm on March 2, 2012, Brett Lewis said…

Larry good afternoon By all means check out my station www.bluesjazzradio.com and you can reach me at bluesjazzradio@gmail.com or 910 915-2998. I am in Raleigh Nc....

At 1:20pm on March 2, 2012, Lija Di Vincenzo Moore said…

Hello :-) Thanks for your request

At 10:36pm on June 23, 2011, Aubrey Bruce said…

Hey Butch, Aubrey Bruce here.  I need to speak with you.  I am promoting a few shows featuring Norman Connors.  Call me at: 412.583.6741

 

At 6:21pm on February 21, 2011, Ronald (Ronnie) V. Randolph said…

Hey Larry,

How are you doing these days?

It is great to know you are still out there playing and preforming and doing your thing.

I've spoke with Luther DeJarunett about you, and wondering what you had been doing.

My email is Rflashu2@yahoo.com, maybe one day we will get a chance to talk to you soon, in the near future. Good luck in all that you do in music. 

 

You take it easy.

 

At 2:18am on February 11, 2010, Cecilio Valdez Washington said…
My email address is cecvaldez@hotmail.com. Please send me your home email address so I can then send you my phone # (private info).

Look forward to talking to you.
At 1:13pm on February 7, 2010, Cecilio Valdez Washington said…
Hello Larry. I gave Nathan Davis your phone number a while back. Did you all ever connect? I played with Mark Whitfield at the 2009 University of Pittsburgh's Spring Concert. So much to catch up on.... please keep in touch.

Cecilio
At 12:46am on February 27, 2009, Jerry Butler said…
I would love to feature "you" as my guest on my show..If I am not your friend..please add me...also please call me @ the offc at 757 538 3540...757 971 3733 for details...click on the banner below to be a guest...JB


At 1:40am on October 22, 2008, Lynda Madden said…
Hello Larry. Do you remember me ? Lynda I lived on the Southside of Pgh . New Arlington Ave. It's good to see that you have followed your passion. I kn

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