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

In our very tenuous economic times, I'm not sure how a private club can have the audacity to "charge" a venue to host weekly live music offerings rather than the converse. As an outsider looking in this sounds very much like a "pay to play" or "protection" scam. I've performed in the previous iterations of James Street and the owners were always very gracious toward musicians and went out of their way to promote and support established and young acts most days of the week. Though I've been away from the venerable Pittsburgh music scene I doubt that Mr. Mowod speaks for the populace of jazz lovers and certainly not for jazz musicians. I think most musicians and most audiences care most that the musicians are compensated and treated well and that all agree to mutually support each other regardless of what the Society decides to do. The Society should not continue to pursue young business owners with the sense of entitlement to largesse at the expense of owners, businesses and audiences who will all lose if the business does not prosper.

In it's early stages I recall the Society using the Oakland Holiday Inn to host Sunday evening shows. I've learned that in more recent times the society used the Rivers Casino as it's home base. I sincerely doubt that those businesses reimbursed the Society for the privilege of having concerts on their premises.

Best of luck to the owners of James Street Gastropub and hats off to you for supporting LIVE JAZZ.

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Comment by Roberta Windle on February 8, 2013 at 1:08am

Yes indeed JSG. Kodos! Keep the Jazz Coming!

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