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

Kudos to you Luther. You did it with class, sophistication and intergrity. Peace be with you.


Barry Boyd

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Comment by SOUTHSIDE JERRY MELLIX on March 12, 2011 at 7:01pm
I'm so sorry to hear of Luther's passing.  He was there when I first became a professional musician.  That would have been back in the early 60's when I went to an audition, in hopes to join Little Willie Beck & The Crossfires.  Luther was just there as a friend of the band members.  He didn't know me but for some reason he took the time to to 'pull my coat' on what the band was looking for in a sax player and what the guys before me were not doing.  I tried to do as he suggested and got the job.  He and I have been friends ever since.  The man was very hip and very, very cool!
Comment by Cecilio Valdez Washington on March 12, 2011 at 1:30pm

When Nelson told me that Luther passed, I just didn't want to believe it.  Luther and I spoke a few month agos.  We had planned to meet at the annual music event in the park on the Northside (near snow cone stand).  I also enjoyed performing with Luther.... very talented.  He will be missed.

Comment by Lori Jenaire on March 12, 2011 at 1:45am

I am writing this through tears and disbelief that my dear friend Luther has passed. He was a big brother, teacher, muse, co-writer, and kindrid spirit without whom I would not be the musician or person I am today. I met him in my early 20's having just moved to Pittsburgh and we instantly bonded - performing, recording and writing songs together. In the process of recoding my latest project here in LA, I asked if he would co-write a song or two with me and we finished "Danger Zone" one the the most radio-played tracks on my "Fruition" CD. Loving his sound and vibe on the guitar as much as I did, I later featured him on a Christmas single "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" which we coproduced  - his melodic, timeless solo reminds all who hear it that "real musicians" can make all the difference in the world in taking a recording to brilliant heights.


I love you and will miss you terribly my friend.....


Peace & Blessings,



Comment by Hill Jordan on March 12, 2011 at 12:55am
Luther was one of the guys who's kinda always been on the scene. He was always "keeping it real" well before that term became cliche. He had a wonderful sense of humor personally & musically! I'm glad to have shared a bit of this great journey that is Music with him! Thanks for always swinging Luther!
Comment by Calvin Stemley on March 11, 2011 at 11:48pm

Luther gone to join the Greatest Band.It is not goodbye but see you later.We had a great time playing last New Years Eve.We won't forget you!!



                                                                                    Calvin Stemley

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