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PITTSBURGH JAZZ

 

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.

 

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Duke Ellington is first African-American and the first musician to solo on U.S. circulating coin

    MARY LOU WILLIAMS     

            INTERVIEW

       In Her Own Words

BBC Calls the Jaggerz new Blue Eyed Soul CD The Walk "Brilliant"

Pittsburgh Music History

BBC Hails The Jaggerz new CD "Brilliant"

One of Pittsburgh's most enduring musical acts, The Jaggerz, are releasing their new blue eyed soul album 'The Walk" with a party at Jergels on Sunday June 15.  

Originally signed and produced by the legendary soul team of Gamble & Huff, the Jaggerz return to their blue eyed soul roots with an album of ten classic R&B tunes.  Produced by 5 time Grammy winner Jay Dudt, Jimmie Ross, and Hermie Granati, The Walk, is being heard on the BBC and other radio stations in the U.K.

BBC host Paul Miller played a cut from the Jaggerz new release "The Walk" on his soul show last Sunday and will play another track next week.  

 

Paul Miller announced the Jaggerz song "(That's Why) Baby I Love You" saying: "This is something I know you're going to like. This is just brilliant..The release "The Walk" is something quite special...if you're anywhere near the volume control turn it right up to the maximum please."
Best known for their gold record smash hit "The Rapper" (No 1 on Record World and No 2 on Billboard), the Jaggerz have been entertaining audiences for almost 50 years.   The Rapper continues to be played on stations every day around the world and is found on 60 compilation albums. 
On "Thee Walk" singer Jimmie Ross the Jaggerz bring their uplifting five part harmonies to their heartfelt arrangements of eight R&B classics and two updated recordings from their "Introducing the Jaggerz" album: the Gamble & Huff tune "Together " and The Jaggerz original "(That's Why) Baby I Love You". 

In the funky break up song "The Walk" Jimmie Ross sings to his fine looking long legged but black hearted cheating woman who has been jagging him around, "So long you did me wrong… You can walk your long legs, baby, right out of my life." Jimmie's passionate soulful voice and the Jaggerz moving harmonies shine on the love ballads "Love Won't Let Me Wait", "The Whole Town's Laughing at Me". and "That's Why Baby I Love You". Donna Groom of the Skyliners guest stars on a duet with Jimmie on the medley arrangement of " It's Gonna Take a Miracle/ I'm On The Outside". The band shows their skillful chops jamming on the uptempo "Move Across the River", "Stagger Lee", and "Having a Party" with great solos from renown piano man Hermie Granati, saxophonist Chris Patarin and guitarists Benny Faiella, Dennis McAbee. 
"The Walk" is available on iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, and from The Jaggerz website.
 

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