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’m a reporter for The Daily News in McKeesport. Luckily for me, I get to review the occasional jazz CD. Generally, our album reviews appear in the Thursday and Saturday papers. CDs can get up to 5 stars.

BILL MCCORMICK, “To Be Continued-Ken Hatfield and Friends Play the
Music of Bill McCormick” (mPub Corporation) 3.5 stars
— Composer Bill
McCormick's new CD delivers breezy and easy entry into the
sophisticated worlds of bebop, fusion, smooth and Brazilian jazz.
The lead cut on the album, “The Spirit of Soul,” calls to mind
Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things.” It begins with a memorable, melodic
sax hook as a runway that quickly gives way to some amazing flights of
musical fancy.
Look out the window and you will see the whole view has suddenly changed.
Ken Hatfield displays incredible technique on the nylon six string and
the rest of the musicians — Jim Clouse on sax, Hans Glawischnig on
bass, Dan Weiss on drums, and Steve Kroon on percussion — also put in
stellar performances.
The band maintains cabin pressure on every track with each journey
beginning and ending on stable musical ground.
The exception to the stability rule may be “Mystery Ship.” Arriving
midway through the CD, this eerie song begins and ends under water,
thanks largely to Kroon’s amazing percussion work. To listen is to be
at one with the waves, face down, banging against the dock. But the CD
is soon up and about again, soaring to a finish with “El Camino Wes,”
a tribute track to legendary guitarist Wes Montgomery.
This is a great album for anyone who likes their jazz complex and
accessible. (Eric Slagle)

This review originally appeared in The Daily News on Jan. 15, 2009

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Comment by Kennard Roosevelt Williams on February 25, 2009 at 11:17pm
That would be great...I have a single soon to be released...ya interested?
Comment by Slaglerock on February 13, 2009 at 12:08pm
Hey Kennard,
Thanks for the feedback. I love reviewing the CDs. I'd like to start doing releases from local jazz artists.
Comment by Kennard Roosevelt Williams on February 12, 2009 at 4:01am
Your articles are interesting, informative and appreciated; good lookin' out!

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