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

Free download of my new summer mix ...

Hey Pittsburgh Jazz Network. I uploaded a new mix last week. It's summer-themed and it's called The Kool-Aid Mix Vol. 1. Here goes more info:

For the most part this mix is kind of mellow/mid-tempo … definitely appropriate for the early hours of the cook out, or for when you’re chilling out and trying to enjoy the summer months. I had a lot of left over tracks and there’s lots of other tracks that I started coming up on once the mix was completed (some more obvious than others), so there’s definitely going to be a volume two next year! Ohhhhh yeaaaahhhh!!

Download it here:

Big up to DJ Buscrates for helping with the recording while my laptop was down! Big up to Jordan K for getting my laptop running again! Big up to Ya Momz House and big up to J.W. Wallace printing!

Hope that y’all not only enjoy the selections, but enjoy the summer in general. Thanks for the support that you show me year round. –J. Malls

The Kool-Aid Mix ingredients:

01. Attila Zoller “The Birds And the Bees” (1970 Embryo/Atlantic)
I just scored this LP a few months ago and this was one of the stand out tracks in my opinion. The dope guitar intro and the steady mid-tempo back beat were right up my alley. FYI - the line-up of the session includes Herbie Hancock on both acoustic and electric piano.

02. RAMP “Everybody Loves The Sunshine” (1977 Blue Thumb/ABC)
I couldn’t very well do a summer mix and not include “Everybody Loves The Sunshine.” If you’re a fan of the Roy Ayres hit then you will no doubt also dig this version recorded by RAMP (Roy Ayres Music Production).

03. The Bar-kays “Summer Of Our Love” (1976 Mercury)
Back in the day I copped my first Bar-Kays LP, Too Hot To Stop. This was one of my favorite tracks and it’s also the A side of the single. That was when I was just scratching the surface as far as this group is concerned, but this one still has a lot of sentimental value for me.

04. Gene Ludwig “Summertime” (196? GeLu)
Including a version of the Gershwin classic “Summertime” is another necessity for a summer mix. This one is by Pittsburgh’s own Gene Ludwig leading a trio on the Hammond B-3 organ. Jerry Byrd (guitar) and Randy Gelispie (drums) comprise the personnel. There are a couple of pops and ticks here and there, but good luck finding a cleaner copy of this LP. Gene’s still actively playing in the Pittsburgh area … check him out!

05. Charles Bell “Summertime” (1964 Gateway)
I didn’t want to run the risk of over-summertiming anyone, so I faded out the previous track and blended in an equally obscure version of the song by another Pittsburgher, Charles Bell. This was recorded in November of 1963 at the Carnegie Lecture Hall. Bell was signed to Atlantic Records at the time and the concert was released on LP by Pittsburgh-based, Gateway Recordings Inc. There’s no info about the other members of the trio provided.

06. Kool & The Gang “Summer Madness” (1974 De-Lite)
I generally wouldn’t include anything quite this obvious in my mix, but who can front on Kool & the Gang? ‘Nuff said.

07. The Main Ingredient “Summer Breeze” (1974 RCA)
The Isley Brothers devoured this Seals & Croft-penned hit, but I decided to include the Cuba Gooding-era version by The Main Ingredient instead. I will no doubt score extra points with the Notorious B.I.G. fans seeing as the intro was sampled for “Things Done Changed” from Biggie’s debut LP.

08. Ronnie Foster “Summer Song” (1972 Blue Note/United Artists)
Great Summer time material from Ronnie Foster’s Two Headed Freap album. I used to just play “Mystic Brew” over and over and over again, but the whole thing is pretty great in its entirety. This track is no exception.

09. Ronnie Foster/Diamond D “Summer Song” Remix (1996 Blue Note/Capitol)
Those of you who were still rocking your back packs in ’96 will no doubt remember the Diamond D remix from The New Groove: Blue Note Remix Project compilation. Honestly, this is probably what made me go back and check out the other tracks on Foster’s Two Headed Freap LP, lol.

10. The Nonce “Bus Stops” (1995 Wild West/American)
I was never a connoisseur of west coast underground hip hop, but the Nonce always released really good singles. “The Picnic” was dope. “Mixtapes” was dope. And this one was dope too. It came out shortly before a bunch of us went to the beach that summer and subsequently became part of the soundtrack to the trip.

11. Quincy Jones “Summer In The City” (1973 A&M)
“Summer In The City” was another sure-shot that I wanted to include, and I knew I was definitely going to roll with the Quincy Jones version from his LP, You’ve Got It Bad Girl. The particular version that I used is actually from his greatest hits album (1976 A&M), which re-edits the intro (sampled by the Pharcyde for “Passing Me By”) and overdubs some traffic noises. This provided a nice segue from the previous song ... one of those happy little accidents ;)

12. Grover Washington “Summer Song” (1977 Kudu/Motown)
Grover Wash’ may be a little too crossover for a lot of jazz purists, but at the end of the day I think he’s pretty great. Come on … how are you gonna front on “Knucklehead”? This particular song was totally not on my radar until my Facebook friend, Brenda, suggested it. Gotta give her a shout because it wouldn’t have made it on otherwise. I think this track really contributes to the feel that I was going after for the overall vibe of the mix.

13. The Chuck Davis Orchestra “Spirit Of Sunshine” (1977 West End)
Honestly, I’ve had this record for a long minute and I never knew what the hell it was, lol. Turns out that it’s an early and sought-after release on the West End label. Funky, jazz-infused disco track mixed by Tom Moulton. This is a little more house-sounding than I generally like, but it’s undeniably killer! I play this one at the disco party a lot.

14. Fantasy Three “Summer” Bonus Beat (1984 C.C.L. Records)
Lesser-known track by the Fantasy Three who scored a hit in 1983 with “It’s Your Rock.” I’ve actually been playing the vocal version of this out quite a bit lately, but I thought I’d just throw in the bonus beat this time around. Nice way to wind things down. Programmed by the one and only, pioneering Latino hip hop producer, “Mater O.C.” Rodriguez (of the Fearless Four).

15. Billy Stewart “Summertime” (196? Chess)
I decided last minute to include a third version of Gershwin’s “Summertime.” In my mind this is perhaps the quintessential version of the song. It’s definitely one of the bigger (if not the biggest) hits recorded by Billy “Fat Boy” Stewart for Chess Records.

16. Outro. Just a short little snippet of what I was working on for an intro. Idea was abandoned early on ;)

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