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

“Big bad man, where can you be?”
“I’m locked inside. It snowed, you see.
“I’ve no machine to stop the snow,
“So, when it falls, inside I go.”

“Inside? You mean you run away?
“From little flakes, you ran, today?”

“Oh, yes, I’m strong, all winter long
“Until the chill turns into snow.
“Then, with a flash, I dive inside.
“Imagine how it hurts my pride.
“The Stock Exchange can’t see me, now.
“Dow Jones would think I am a cow.”

“But what about the little men
“You push all year? What of them?”

“Shhhhh, don’t you say I ran away
“To those I bullied, yesterday.
“My big machines and mighty dollar
“Make little men jump and holler.”

“Well, can’t your Diner’s Club card
“Stop the sky from snowing hard?”

“It can’t, you see, because snow is free
“And credit cards won’t do the job.”

“A gun, I’m sure, would stop the stuff
“Plug up the sky. Point, shoot and puff.”

“I tried a gun. Just made it rain
“And, then, last year, it snowed, again.”

“You’ve one more chance to kill that snow.
“Use propaganda. That’ll make it go!”

“Yeah, maybe that would do something.
“With no more snow, I could still be king.”

“Big bad man, I pulled your leg.
“You can’t stop snow with words that beg.”

“I must admit, it is a blow.
“Ha! Even you can’t stop the snow.
“You’re beat, big man, by tiny flakes
“They stop your show with no breaks,
“The same way you do little men
“With big machines and your money, friend.
“Big bad man, snow is just for you
“So, you could feel empty-handed, too.”

Power-less ©1979 Joan Cartwright

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