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

Harold Betters's Blog (6)

Visual art, music unite in 'Seeing Jazz'

Jazz will be the soundtrack for art, literature and Black History Month this evening at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in the North Side.

Taken together, the music and the images will provide "jazz you can see and art you can hear," says Marty Ashby, program director at the Guild.

The event is a reception for artists of works in the "Seeing Jazz: A Tribute to the Masters" exhibit now on display at the Guild's Connie Kerr Gallery and the North Lobby.

The… Continue

Added by Harold Betters on March 29, 2009 at 8:21pm — No Comments

Open Pantry

Those of you of a certain age who are natives of the Mon Valley will remember when we didn't have GetGo or Sheetz, or even 7-Eleven in most of the area. (I can think of only a handful until recently, when 7-Eleven took over a bunch of locations from other companies.) We had "Stop-N-Go," "Open Pantry," "Spee-D Mart," "Clover Farm Stores" and even a few "Li'l General" stores. The Clover Farms were little full-service supermarkets. I can remember two… Continue

Added by Harold Betters on March 27, 2009 at 5:11am — No Comments

The Negro

The Negro

With the trumpet at his lips

Has dark moons of weariness

Beneath his eyes

Where the smoldering memory

Of slave ships

Blazed to the crack of whips

About his thighs...

The music

From the trumpet at his lips

Is honey

Mixed with fire.

The rhythm

From the trumpet at his lips

Is ecstasy

Distilled from old… Continue

Added by Harold Betters on March 27, 2009 at 4:00am — No Comments



The prosperity of Pittsburgh’s jazz scene continued through the early and mid 1960s. This prosperity was augmented by the beginnings of a more visible jazz recording industry, spearheaded almost single-handedly by the Gateway label. Jazz on Gateway was actually a relatively small portion of the label’s output, as the company issued records in many genres, most notably Eastern European folk music through an extended series of… Continue

Added by Harold Betters on March 27, 2009 at 3:07am — No Comments

Dawn Law

Betters brings sweet sounds to museum


Monday, February 21, 2005

About the writer

Dawn Law is a stringer for the Tribune-Review.

If you can feel the music, then it is real.

During Harold Betters' five decades in the music business, he has appeared on television, played from the Apollo to the Super Bowl and made numerous recordings that can be heard on jazz radio.

Betters has worked with Slide… Continue

Added by Harold Betters on March 27, 2009 at 2:53am — No Comments

Ron Wynn, All Music Guide

Fine swing and big band trombonist, well schooled in all the tricks of the trade, among them vocal effects, flashy phrasing and rapid-fire lines. He was also an excellent section player, and handled bop as well. Betters recorded a number of albums in the early and mid-'60s, one a surprising two-trombone date with Slide Hampton in 1965. ~ Ron Wynn, All Music Guide

Added by Harold Betters on March 27, 2009 at 2:27am — No Comments

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