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
I took my family for a ride today, just around the way, nowhere but through those most incredibly placed hills and valleys of Fayette County Pa.. On our rides, we always have sound coming from the Radio. That beat, as we explore the vicissitudes of our ever-lasting meadows of faded yellow. Music is most helpful when a discussion has died away and the beauty of my birthplace pulls everyone’s attention away. I for 40 odd years traversing of curves that go left then right then left again. My lions pride Fifteen years, we try to lose ourselves, even just for an hour.

Wonderfully lost, we are sometimes missing in discussion and physical direction. Head to the east, I remembered a farm. Off to the South the flowers are blooming. Music has been our guide, sincerely; we have debated getting safe tires over fixing the radio. With the Murky blue hills giving depth to the view, we debate what naturally there is to debate. Music and Nature. I, being the pilot and just as I control our destiny, I control the sound. I will only let one ideal dominate another but for a minute, I prefer giving everything a fair chance.

Fifteen years, and we have come to a consensus that consumer music has but two sides. We leave monetary reasons aside, for our reasoning is that “its” always about the money. Also, if you say you paid for the best music, then I could call you a lair, for you have never heard the best music, not from a recording. Live & Free, period. So with the money prospective sidelined we formed an idea. There are two types of music” imitation anthem with self-imposed exile.” and “sincere passionate”.

“Anthem music imposes the anti-theme on to the listener expressing distaste for fanfare. I had this tape many years ago, and the title to the cassette was “I don’t care what you say Fuck you!” The bands name escapes me, never the less. It was the epitome of imitation Anthem music. To insist you care less, increases your fanfare, something you state you can do with out.

However, like the impressionists of the nineteenth century suggested, that there is many ways to skin a cat. That the second side to our thoughts is raped in compassion. “Sincerer passion,” is the asking of the listener to understand and join the “cause”. To be part of that artists fanfare.

These two sides of “musical consumerism” are as divided as the Osage tree lines that corral our spotted ponies from the wheat. Both musical ideals assumes an identity that fits the fanfare, not the fanfare fitting into them. Both sides take emotion as a cue for direction. Both sides will nervously cross into the others “style."

Far be it for me to say that this is a bad thing, to be an actor (per-say), which is no less of a title then musical artist. It is just a point where we all agree on.

Add too the above descriptions a third. The entertainer turned Scholar. These entertainers are not ones of consumer calibers, far above that bar.. They are the artists that have mixed both camps, anti-anthem and passion protocol, and then they forgot it all. These scholars of the earliest language are hidden away, practicing their theory. They care less for fanfare, but know that they have others attention. Lost on them is reason for mass recording. Is that a shame? Sadly, they would not fit into the wagon, and if they could or better yet would, I think it would distract from the whole debate, no to mention time with my family discovering something new in the place that’s so old.

So, we’ve landed at this harbor, A landscape twisted in boy bands and honky-tonk, Rap and industrial , like the Trump vine twisting left and up to fight for the fleeting rays of the summer sun.

Views: 56


You need to be a member of Pittsburgh Jazz Network to add comments!

Join Pittsburgh Jazz Network

© 2024   Created by Dr. Nelson Harrison.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service