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
Mohammad Abdulaziz
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Pittsburgh Connection
Born and raised in the Hill District, graduated from Schenley High School June 1956. Left Pittsburgh June 1956 and joined the United States Air Force and retired on November 1, 1978.
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
Ahmed Jamal, Roy Eldridge, Billy Ekstine, Roger Humphries, Stanley Turntine, Tommy Turntine, George Benson, Paul Chambers, Ray Brown, Philysis Hyman, Erroll Garner , Art Blakey and all those musicians that left Pittsburgh early in the 40's and 50's and went on to other cities to become famous.
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
The Old Crawford Grill on Wylie Avenue and the Birdie's Bar and Grill which was located on Centre Avenue Hill District.
About Me:
I was born on May 1, 1938 in McGee Women's Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pa but left Pittsburgh after graduating from High School in 1956. Joined the US Air Force for 20 years and retired in 1978. Came back to Pittsburgh and worked with the United States Postal Service from October 1979 to December 1986. Attended the Pittsbrugh Computer School of Technology on 6th Street downtown Pittsburgh March 1987 to October 1987. Left Pittsburgh again for employment in Saudi Arabia on December 1, 1987, embraced the Religion of Islam in 1990 and married a Saudoi National in July 1992 and have built a home and currrently living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with my wife and her family.

Mohammad Abdulaziz's Blog

Jazz Enthusiest

Posted on March 23, 2009 at 1:43pm 0 Comments

Hi Kennard Williams, I am the brother of your School chum, Susan (Carroll) Patterson 1963 Class of Schenley and I have been a Jazz Fiend for over 50 years and sorry to see the old Jazz clubs closed in Pittsburgh, but I know you are doing your best to keep it going on. I noticed that you didn't mention the number one Jazz Hammond organist Gene Ludwig and I think he is one of the greatest Jazz organ players. Later, Mohammad Abdul-Aziz

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At 3:17pm on March 24, 2009, Kennard Roosevelt Williams said…
Hi Mohammad, thanks for your comments. You are right in thinking that Gene Ludwig is one of the greatest; I second that opinion. Unfortunately, I have never had any musical association with him. I am however, looking forward to that. He's one of my favorites too.
At 11:56pm on February 26, 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 on the banner below to be a guest...JB
At 12:13am on February 9, 2008, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…
We'll keep the fires burning bright. Godspeed until you get back home. You know you will be informed of the happenings on this page.
At 9:04pm on February 7, 2008, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…
I'm sure we know each other from those days because I was certainly at all of those places. I was playing trombone in those days. I played with Wendell Byrd at the Hurricane and used to sit-in with Harold and Jerry Betters at the Grill in the late 50s. those were the best of times and we took them for granted. Now that they are gone do we realize how fortunate we were to have been on the scene.

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