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.
Nelson I have invited you to come out to hear our new blues band but you have yet to make it. We are playing at the INN' TERMISSION on the south side starting March 15, sunday at 9:30pm. What do we have to do to get you to come out and support this new blues nite..?? We are all members of this effort to support each other,but i see things a little different.
d.r. finch was the fine gentleman i new he would be. he's my angle now and i will never forget him born my mothers b d my brothers son, my newphew i see his hansome face. servies are at sprigg and watson 4-7 wed.and masonic service at 7p. interment thur starting at 11a at st benedict the moor 91 crawford in the hill distict
R.I.P. derrick ill rma the goodtimes.....T.Y. mr. harrison for your wonderful music. my heart saddens for my family for losing a excellent person. i will remember him as he was and what he has become. T.Y. for being his friend and now mine... right now duty calls on saving lives...ill try to catch you on th. or fri.
After writing to you for more than an hour, I lost it somewhere. My computer must have eaten it. I'm quite fatigued. I'll write to you tomorrow. Love the Jazz. Am now going to go to my quiet place.
God, I'm glad to have reconnected with you. I;m so proud of you Dr Harrison.
I'll discuss "metaphysics" with you tomorrow. Am now listening to a tune called' "You can kiss my ass." A good mix. Reminds me of my gospel moments at Ebenezer. I want to share my thoughts with you regarding silence, music, nursing, death, birth, hollow air, quiet energy, the house that a soul lives in, music embracing death or vice versa, running water,stars, the ocean etc and many more subjects. They are all a part of "Metaphysics"
of what we are to our lives and the relationships. God, the network music is great. I think I'll leave it one on for a while.
'miles' just arrived in the mail today from amazon... it was only 5 bucks! looking forward to reading it, but not till I finish 'make the impossible possible' by bill strickland (i'm sure you're familiar); just started today and am already about halfway thru, i like it a lot! aren't you working on a book?
Thank you, Mr. Harrison for your kind words and encouragement. It is people like you that keep me pushing for excellence. I'm contemplating that I will be able to perform with some of you Jazz Greats one day. I'm always willing to learn new things with new people. Until we speak again, God Bless.