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.
Hopefully "CJ's" will return from the dead and continue to be the home of great Pittsburgh musicians like Tony Campbell and his friends. Jazz Surgery continues in all our memories to be a fountain of joy and entertainment!! sincerely Dr Bruce, pittsburghjam.org and youtube.com/drfbm
Probably don't remember me but it's Mark Leonard bruh....Now that I'm retired, I have nothing nut time on my hands! I hope that I can catch you playing somewhere and hear some REAL music....although you play sax and I play drums, I learned some stuff about "the craft" from you when I was just a young one hanging with my cousin Hump at the K&S Lounge and places of the like, thanks man!
Tony, My heart goes out to you. Your a very warm and heartfelt person I've grown to admire and trust. I"m deeply appreciative of knowing you your dad and your history. I'll never forget that theft of your saxophone at Pitt music library, but what a recovery it turned out to be. You are a Pittsburgh icon I got to know. I cherish knowing you. Your Brother, ALI.
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
Tony, we need to get together for lunch or dinner sometime. It seems we are close to being on the same page on some issues in the Jazz community of Pittsburgh. Love to hear some of your ideas. Let's talk soon. James