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 wish I could visit my grandfather at the best time in his life.

I wish I could visit my grandfather at the best time in his life, there when he took the alpha path. A simply gentle human harboring neither anger nor with wraith, dedicated of a man with two children and a doting wife.

I know these thoughts of grandeur has limits to its weave, thus I would give us twelve hours before he would leave. If I could only cut somehow through space, stand proudly next this men and his grace. A trip to visit the pillar that helped structure me this man, lessons from afar, he who slept sound with workmen’s hands.

I would first study the sublime, that of the humble hero of mine. My mind would most likely being going in odd directions; shower him in love and deep affection. I would introduce myself, as he’s daughter’s son, the child of his only one. I would hug him all that I can, and then greet him as if he was another man.
Just tiny as I remember, carrying garden ties and raw cut timber. Always at the garden or in that basement, dim and cold, color gold and amber. Here and there, he would go teaching me those lessons; surely, I would like to show him their conclusions

If I could now bring him through the decades in appreciation, to show him the bricks he laid with his gentle disposition. From the sky, I would suggest a majestic trip, my grandfather and me float high through the rip.

A big red balloon I would fashion the craft, with blinking white lights for attraction attached. A drawstring bag of fine tobacco,
fresh, accompanied by an elaborately handcrafted bone pipe. Two large liters of ale, a few green onions and the trip would be right.

I hope I can hold my excitement and not ramble on, I am sure I will be in awe like a mothers fond. I want to show him the legacy he has left. The lessons he taught me when I was o so wee, they laid on my heart with incredible heft.

Work was necessity and ale was its prize, tend to those needs that grants them happy lives.

Up in the air, the first I would point out; that cold day when the after life was his route. Not long, we would hover to show him this trouble. On with the trip we would go, through the ages of change both highs and low.

Look, there pap watch as the highway grows, over the hills to points unknown. Brightly tinted roofs with families in shelter. Heat pumped in for the curb, milk, safe cold and it just got better. Look at the inhabitants of the times; mother, your daughter all women breaking that binds. Our land makes peace with the world, a sight never so glorious. Then the generations at home grow engrossing us. Times became passionate, and leaders steer the course. Freedom cried through out the whole, many thought it would just get worse. Time went on and wounds did heal, times now are for the new ideal.

Our ship advanced on the warm lift of the day, we open our dew-covered bottles toasting to the sway. I tell him of my children and the life I try to provide, I tell him of the love I shall never hide. I tell him of the stories he does premiere, I am sure the tales now bored them to tears. A puff on the pipe he took as he listened, smoke rolled from his mouth as he starred into the distance. I talk of the new and the old, the advancements in life and the sad stories that need told.

Soon in our sight my time in the moment, the wife and boys cheer in excitement. Down we descend our big red ball; I was so excited to share I could not hide it all.
.A flick of the switch and the lights did dance, marking our coming, our sure advance. Slowly the basket landed flat, I exited first then did him adjusting his wool knit hat.

The introductions were given kindly; all the” how do you does “and” Thank you’s “were timely. My handsome sons, wife, all three, standing talking to an honest branch on our tree. We sat in a circle as the sun warmed our backs; slowly the conversations became more relaxed. The boys asked of times past as the wife laughed, we pulled weed in the garden I wish this could last. Pap stood as the sun was loosing its lead, out of his pocket he draw a single sin-sin seed. It was time for my fantasy to close; I have so many things to say before he goes.

Pap turns and thanks me for this enlightenment; he is joyful to see his life had significance. I realized I had talked the entire trip, I told you I would ramble on quite a bit. I was so thrilled I hogged up the day, gabbing at his ear the entire way. He turned and said he was proud to see I followed his compass, and then he disappeared into velvet red distance. I wish I could visit my grandfather at the best time in his life, there when he took the alpha path.

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