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

For the past few months I have been away from the Jazz Network. I have not posted comments, photos, videos or events.


I have been making observations however at events and talking with music fans and musicians. People have been asking me why I left the network. It's personal. Our lives take strange twists and turns and that is what I have been experiencing. No ill fellings directed toward anyone.


When commenting about the turmoil in the Pittsburgh market I am not happy as many of you already know. I continue to have the LONGEST running program that features Jazz on the radio. I have been doing this for the past 33 years in case some of you are aware of that fact. I have also hired many musicians in the are when I successfully programmed, MC'ed and marketed the Stars at Riverview and Reservoir of Jazz series for CITIPARKS from 2002 through 2007.  Efforts to save a radio station where wrong. That came too little and about 10 years too late. Yes the wheels were set in place that long ago. It's about creating a self sustaining Jazz community. It's about saving the music and the culture surrounding it. If you can't get with that then you simply need to just go away. 

I have worked with many in the Jazz community including MCG Jazz and WDUQ and will continue to work with others in the future. I would have really wanted to give Tony Mowod a big sendoff when he decided to retire from his radio duties but he did not include me. Like my Jamaican friends say, "I feel no way". He chose to do what he wanted to do. That tells me a lot about friendship among so-called colleagues.

I have also worked very hard to promote Jazz on and off the air. The downtown Jazz scene would not be flourishing now at certain hotels if I had not  approached them first about getting their patrons to come to Little E's when I was doing the Jazz Fan Appreciation series of events. I even looked into purchasing the 1902 Landmark in Market Square. It is now...Nola. Despite my efforts on numerous fronts I get you know what. And that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. I don't have an attitude but I get tired of dealing with racists in 2011 and so do other people around the world as we see daily. I don't have time to play games.

I continue to produce and host my Sunday morning radio program at WRCT featuring Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Rock, Reggae and other musics of the African diaspora. I am currently working on my rescheduled music and radio conference at the Union Project on Saturday, November 19 from 8:30AM-4PM.

In addition, I will continue to work on other outside projects with sensible , respectful people. Over the summer I had the opportunity to talk with Bernard "Pretty " Purdie, Chyp Davis, Mtume, Clarence Burke Jr., Jason Miles and Garland Jeffries at the Soul Patrol Convention along with many others. I am ready to get busy.


Stay tuned.....Jazz Lives...stay in the pocket


The creator has a master plan,




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