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.
Deb, Dennis and I was at the Casino to see you play and the food was good but the music was great. Hope you had a good easter and hope to see all of you play again soon. Was trying to find a up to date calendar of where your playing but can't find it maybe you can help. Hope to hear from ya soon tam
Deb, You live in Penn Hills, I grew up in Penn Hills and attended grade school thru H.S. Listen, thers one very important message that I forgot to relay to you from Richard Mansfield ,AKA... Brother Rick, Moe and Dr. Johnson take your pick, and that message is for you not to only pay close attention to the 5/4 bar, but also the 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 6/4 7/4 as well. Rick tells me that you really play the hell out of the 15/16 bars and the13 /8 bars in the infamous "J" series. Keep up the good work ! Moe reports to me on a regular basis about your playing and performance history, but If I were you and please take this for what its worth, but I would probably start kickin' back a few bucks to Moe to keep the gig. Slip him a fin at least once a month and he'll overlook the 5/4 bar. So keep swingin !!!! I gave your name and number to a contractor named Abdul Mohammed Jeeeeeeepte, he's comming to Pgh . for the annual " Dance of The Camels" party but Deb remember and please only play the appropriate rhythm and beats for the TWO HUMPED CAMELS, that is very different then the rhythms amd beats for THE SINGLE HUMPED CAMELS and never forget Deb, as my friend Abdul says " TWO HUMPS ARE BETTER THAN ONE" take care and may Allah be with you and the camels!!! Oh by the way tell Moe I say hello, Ya gotta love MOE
Thanks for thinking of me.....I hold the drum chair "FOR DANCERS ONLY" 18 piece big band here in south Florida.....come on down when it gets cold up there and we can compare notes !!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep up the good work........Stix
Thanks for the friendship, Deb! I'm very glad that you like the music on the page! That must be a great deal of fun driving that big band. It's a hard job, but apparently you're holding it down! I hope to meet you in person, and do some playing one of these days. Have a great week!
Hi Deb. We never met but I'd like to know more about The Pittsburgh Doo Wop Big Band. I tried to find a website on them but could not. Could you please give me their performance schedule for the next few months?