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.
Thank you SO much for your kind words....what an ego booster..you totally made my day!!!!!!
I am completely awed by your talent and experience and honored that someone of your caliber would appreciate my voice and arrangements. Thank you too for your suggestion to include audio-visual posts...I will start working on that!!!
Nelson......thanks Doc!...every now and then a beautiful garden such as thios one needs a tiny bit of "weeding"....rotflmao....hope all is well in the "burgh" now that "Spring" is on the way ....my dooryard still has over a foot of snow...but 50f hee today and I can see the ground in a few spots...you know you and any of your compatriots are welcome here in Maine...I've got room and the summertime has some sweet jazz venues...and of course lobster...be well...keep jammin' ...my best to you and all those in your life...your humble servant here in Maine...in Bb...always b
Nelson my dear... I just knew you were a charmer! Thanks for the info. I now feel even more accepted here. Times do change, eh? I would love to share some of my son's artwork with everyone. He even has some of them in the film: "I love you, man" just released. I get nervous about something happening to them when they're rented. I would buy all of them if I could afford to do so, but then that would be selfish... his work needs to be seen more. He's so laid back it doesn't seem to matter to him... if he's asked to do a show fine, if not fine. Me... for my passion/career, I must be proactive 24/7 practically. I'm chuckling right now, because I'm finding myself coming up with more stuff to right about because I'm enjoying listening to your music!! Oh, so sad, but here in LA, the legendary "Jazz Bakery" is closing! Very disturbing.
Gotta go for now... thanks so much for your kindness.
Much happiness, Jody
Such kind words Nelson, thank you. I am sooooo honored to be included on this website of such wonderful musicians. Thank you...! My son really loves jazz and was inspired to paint a "Jazz Series" of portraits including Coltrane, Joe Williams, Paul Chambers, young and old Ray Charles, Big Black Cadillac (Lightnin' Hopkins), Sonny Rollins, and oh my, I've forgotten who else... of course he's moved on to a different style now... but these are my favorite. I will put some of my photos on soon. Not certain that I'll know how to put a video on, but I'll try. I'm not so sure that jazz artists would want an actor's stuff on this site though which is designed for musicians. It is just so great to listen to everyone... Keep making those dreams come true!!
i may be out tmro night where in east liberty is it?i have been meaning to go out and see the baddest cats in the land for a while i only have mondays off gigs are piling up for me but that is one day i need to just get out and let loose
You are a very dear man for all your kind and comforting words. Rhonda continues to show signs of improvement daily and each day is a ray of sunshine for us. She took a little walk in the sunshine today out in the back yard but tires so easily. We are indeed fortunate to live in a warm climate so she can feel the warmth on her body. All in all, she is so fortunate. This is only a temporary situation and we are looking forward to the day when she is back to her warm and smiling self. One day at a time.
"The sound of Silence pregnant"! Great words! Sort of like "Did God mean for us to ride the waves of life or just lay on the sand and complain about the sun? (first are yours and second are mine.) Have a great week!
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I would appreciate it very much if you would email the phone numbers or email addresses of the relatives of Derrick's. I would love to talk with them, especially Derrick's mother, so perhaps we can share our grief together. As a mother, I know what she must be going through. Mothers and sons always have a very special bond.
Rhonda returned home on Friday, the 13th again after suffering pulmonary emboli in both lungs, probably the result of being in bed for so long. It will be a month tomorrow and she is showing some improvement daily but it is hard to get her to move a lot since she is still in so much pain. I really have to insist she get up for short walks to prevent any further clots from forming. It kills me to see her suffer so, but we are so thankful she is going to come through this. Every day is a blessing.
Thank you so much for you kind words. I only wish Rhonda, who loves jazz, could meet all of you talented people. She would be in her glory.
Deepest Condolences on the loss of Dr. Derrick Finch.
If you know of anyone in the Los Angeles area who knew Derrick, we are having a celebration of his life at the Hollywood Studio Bar & Grill
6122 Sunset Blvd.
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.