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

Sutton to begin ‘Desire’ tour with MCG show Saturday

Sutton to begin ‘Desire’ tour with MCG show Saturday
Daily News Staff Writer

Given the troubled state of Wall street, the banking industry and the personal finances of many individuals these days, the concept behind jazz vocalist Tierney Sutton’s newly released album “Desire” seems quite timely.
The Grammy-nominated artist compiled songs for the disk that offer varying takes on desire, from the relentless quest of material goods, to the unhealthy pursuit of human love and the reaching out for divine understanding.
Sutton will kick off a national tour in support of the release at Manchester Craftsman’s Guild Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $22 and $40 and are available by calling 412-322-0800.
Sutton says she hopes the songs on the CD illustrate how wanting something you can’t have can constitute a “spiritual obstacle course” on the path to finding contentment.
“The material world has a lot limitations. It’s supposed to teach us things but we’re not supposed to be as attached to it as we are,” Sutton said recently. “Attachment to a lover, fame or money are things that end in disillusionment. What we’re really looking for is our true selves, which is the same as finding God, in a way.”
A practitioner of the Bahá’í Faith, Sutton draws from the spiritual text of that religion, which emphasizes the spiritual unity of all mankind, and presents them in the opening track of the album, “It’s Only a Paper Moon.”
She said her band developed the arrangement for that song last June and it became the catalyst for the album. Other songs on the CD include “Long Daddy Green,” “Fever,” “Whatever Lola Wants” and “My Heart Belongs to Daddy.”
When she and her band of the past 16 years — pianist Christian Jacob, bassist Kevin Axt and drummer Ray Brinker — roll into town this weekend, Sutton said there will be no set song list till the night of the show. Though the audience can expect to hear songs from the new CD, she said that with a songbook that contains more than 100 arrangements and draws from material on eight albums, “There’s a real freedom in what we choose.”
Sutton was a semifinalist in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Vocal Competition in 1998 and made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Pops in February 2005.
In August 2005, Sutton released her first live album, “I’m with the Band,” recorded at Birdland in New York City. The album was nominated for a 2005 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album, as was the 2007 release, “On The Other Side.”
She also teaches at the University of Southern California and conducts master classes and workshops worldwide. Sutton said she and the band already are thinking about their next album. Though they have not developed a theme for that release yet, she said it will have one.
“Where it’s going to take us, I don’t know,” she said. Having already tackled concepts such as desire and happiness, she said, “We may just call the next CD ‘God.’”
For more information about Sutton, visit her Web site at
This article appeared in The Daily News on March 13.

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