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.
"REAL arrangements played by a REAL ensemble------REAL music that requires active listening!! This project is a true musical dialogue between a sax quartet, piano features and vocal highlights. It's a swingin' showcase of classic jazz standards treated with sophistication------mature tempos, a variety of styles, and dynamic range. This CD is a creative treasure of riches--------Enjoy the honesty, attitude and fun of Phoenix!....."
2 time Grammy Award Winner
and founding member of NY Voices
“When Lights Are Low,” the latest album by The Phoenix Jazz Project, reaches well beyond its roots of jazz/big band styles. One may consider jazz to be one of the most technically challenging styles of music, but this group has cohesively crafted the art. The chemistry between the musicians is unbelievably tight and consistent. One such example of this bond is the sax quartet interpreting the harmonies through a series of voicings on “I Mean You.” Listeners will hear outstanding vocals, as they are polished and demonstrate maturity while never faltering on these complex melodies. The piano gracefully glides across the ivories with a true jazz feel on “Oncallogy,” while a smooth swing tempo is performed with soft brushes on the drums and a silky walking bass line. Fans of Count Basie, Cannonball Adderley, or modern big band sounds will really enjoy The Phoenix Jazz Project’s refreshing jazz album “When Lights Are Low.”
-- Diane and the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team
"The Phoenix Jazz Project can do what so many jazz bands can't. It can give an all-too-familiar song new life. On "When Lights Are Low," the Pittsburgh-area band even successfully tackles one of the most difficult covers in jazz: "Blue in Green." Mile Davis’ original version of that song still is, and probably will ever be, the best. But the Project, led by pianist Tom Glovier and his wife, Jessie, does a version that stays true to the haunting beauty while also adding something else -- saxophone lines by Traverser Saxophone Quartet. Jessie Glovier's voice sometimes sounds like an imitation of Miles' muted horn. The Project and the saxes also do a great job on Thelonious Monk's "I Mean You" while Jessie Glovier takes her voice in a completely different direction on "Never Will I Marry." Besides doing such works, the title track and "Tenderly," the crew also offers "Oncallogy" by Tom Glovier and "Dialogue" by saxophonist Mike Sakash. This is a total success."
-- The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Most of the basis for the sextet's music lies in traditional jazz. But the group prides itself in creating and performing good music regardless of genre. From the traditional styles of originals “Halfway Out” and “Billy or Bud” to the modernized arrangements of classics “If I Only Had a Brain” and “Softly As a Morning Sunrise,” The Phoenix Jazz Project provides a wide variety of entertaining music. Having only been in existence for a few years, The Phoenix Jazz Project has already wowed audiences from Pittsburgh to Prague. A June 2005 tour to Eastern Europe including Budapest's Cotton Club and Vienna's Jazzland produced standing ovations and rave reviews. That tour also included stops in Prague, Czech Republic, Brataslava, Slovakia and Krakow, Poland where the band performed and conducted clinics. A December 2005 tour to Belgium yielded more performances, clinics, and standing ovations. And an October 2008 tour to Russia yielded even more praises. This new Pittsburgh band already has the locals raving about their “New York Sound.” Their current project has pianist/composer/arranger Thomas Glovier writing and arranging classics for a collaboration cd with The Traverser Saxophone Quartet. The CD, "When Lights Are Low" is currently available at www.cdbaby.com/phoenixjazzproject
It's great to have your group as a member. I'm sure you can see the promotional possibilities here. Please load sounds and videos that you want to use to display your wares. Can't wait to hear you play. You can post your schedule, opinions, CD & concert reviews, etc, etc,. Browse the members and add some friends. Also invite your group members to join as individuals.