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.
I was able to call in and get somebody on the day-side staff to get the answers to who was playing that early morning here in Phoenix. Thanks for getting back, delayed or not. I went on Amazon and bought both tunes.
Michele Bensen, Chris Pangikas and I will be playing at Murphy's Tap Room in Regent Square on Nov. 1st from 7-10. Hopefully we can get some jazz started in the Square. I know you are busy but if you have some time we'd love to see you there, By the way, I own the Forest Hills Coffee Company so I guess we're neighbors!
I heard your syndicated program on Sunday May 31st on KJZZ in Phoenix at 3:00 a.m. Please HELP ME! There was a wonderful version of Blue Bossa by a vocalist who I believe is named Janis Joppi, Yes? NO? It was followed by a big band tune that sounded like a Basie or Neal Hefti tune.... any info on either of these would help me in my quest. Thank you so much ( I was unable to find anything on the PLaylist of KJZZ for that time period.
Kudos to you and your wonderful taste in jazz programming.
Ron Philpott Phoenix, AZ
Great that you joined the Pittsburgh Jazz Network.
You've been so supportive of all the jazz musicians in town, we appreciate it! Thanks for all the kind wordsand always playing good jazz sounds on WDUQ. We're listening.
Peace & Love,