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, Parlanto 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.
It's good to know that jazz is still our passion. If you can, you should come down to CJs on Penn and 27th st in the strip Roger has a jam session every Thur. starting at 8:00 p.m. it would be great to see you.
p.s. sorry I took so long but you know me, i'm still shaky
Hello Frank, you might not remember me, but I use too go with your sister Priscilla , the name is skip Reed I lived on the north side ,manchester I played drums for the Soul Brothers band . It was nice too see your still a great jazz fan. I live in california now and still playing . Tell your sister I said hello and contact if she can . Good to see your still around.
Mr Greenlee the last that I know about Mr. Bell he was last living in New York. I had contacted at least 10 years ago I found his information and contacted him asking him about the album that they did in 1963. The live trio album. He was gracious and sent me a cassette with the album recorded on it. I had a house fire since and lost the information. However, I have just been in touch with Poogie Bell as you may see in the comments area. He is Bell's son. He probably knows alot more than me. As for any other band members i dont know.
Mr. Greenlee Is there anything more you can share with me about my dad and how did you come to know him. If you would be willing to share with me,what you thought of his playing style. Anything you could share would be greatly appreciated. I was 12 when he died. I remember him taking me to different places i believe in shadyside. Had practices in the building we lived in and he took me alot of places on his shoulders. He died Jan 19, 1978. Cremated next day at Allegheny Cemetary. Due to a broken family situation i dont have any pictures of him from my mother. I have found a lot in the last several years and I continue to find more. Thanks alot :-)
THANK you for your information. I remember hearing how he was famous for his beret and you just confirmed that for me. One of his most rememberable features. If you seen that picture on my page of the album he did with Charles Bell in 1963. He is on the cover in the upper right with his beret on. Did you go to that event. Carnegie Musical Hall is was recorded. I am hoping to find out if anyone has pictures of that. It had to be a pretty big event for the Jazz scene here in pittsburgh. I am trying to find any photos I can of my father. Maybe we can spread the word around. Someone somewhere has many pictures. We got to get them on this site to share rare photos of the past. . That would be fabulous. lol got to share that ideal with Mr. Harrison. What a great ideal.
Mr. Greenlee, thanks for the great music you played on WAMO am in the 70's. Your show was my first exposure to Jazz. It was WAMO am except Sunday nights with Charles Pleasant. I remember first hearing George Benson's 'This Masquerade' on your show, I'd never heard of him, at first I thought it was Donnie Hathaway! Thanks
Well, I guess I need your email address to send you one! Hahaha...I hope you are doing well Frank. Ron and I work every Wednesday at Willow, sure would like to see you sometime. Take care Frank.
Excuse me, but do I know you? Ahhhhh yes, my dear Mr. Greenlee, where the heck have you been? I've tried many time s to find you through various mutual friends and now you're here. Read my email and give me a call nad let's catch up.
Love & Peace,