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

1964 - Brother Jack McDuff Quartet (Live video)

Brother Jack McDuff - organ; Red Holloway - tenor sax; George Benson - guitar; Joe Dukes - drums. Festival gig in France

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Comment by E Van D on February 6, 2020 at 10:27pm

100+ likes

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on February 3, 2020 at 5:02pm
You can tell me your story after I tell you about my night at the Jazz Workshop in San Francisco circa early 1964 when I saw in the paper that Brother Jack McDuff was playing there starting that night!
I showed up.
I had a problem tho. A money problem.
So I promised the doorman at the club on that foggy night that I'd buy the minimum two drinks and take up very little space at the bar if he'd let me slide past the $2.50 cover at the door.
It was a slow night and he waved me in.
Got a seat against the wall when the place started to fill up.
A guitar was on the stand, drums ready to be drummed with Zildjians hanging at easy angles and B-3 ready to go.
The tenor was also on its stand but I had no idea who was gonna play what but I had several of Jack's albums so I didn't care.
The waitress brought me first drink and eyed me suspiciously seemingly aware of my short money state. I was sure.
Band started to ease in and I saw Jack with some friends when I also saw a young boy staring at the guitar while sitting alone at a table.
Thinking he was there with parents who were somewhere else I became alarmed when he walked to the stage and then got close to the guitar!
It made me smile to see such a young man interested in the  music but then the band started moving to the stage.
I recognized Red Holloway and the left-handed drummer, Joe Dukes and I was happy with my one drink.
Then to my amazement the kid staring at the guitar stepped up onto the stage and picked it up!!!.
Jack jumped into "Rock Candy" and the place came to life. When the kid soloed I was blown away.
It was George Benson!
The set was a knockout and the place started to clear for the next set when the waitress, having already served me my second drink came over and said I'd have to leave if I didn't order another drink...
I was struck dumb for a moment until an arm from somebody sitting to my right waved to her that it was on him.
She left. I leaned over to get a look at my benefactor to thank him and he smiled a big OK.
It was Paul Desmond.
I was there every night using my tip money from a lame-ass gig at a hotel where I was staying working dinner shift as a red-coated waiter.
Never forgot that week, especially as I had just come to town hitchhiked from Detroit and was having my music dream come true at the fabled venue.
Roland Kirk (Before Rasaan) was just weeks away.
San Francisco...where I was reborn in 1964.
Back there in '66 on the radio at KDIA having replaced the great "Jumpin'. George Oxford" that I read about in Kerouac's "On the Road".
The beginning of my life preordained from books I'd read as a failed teenager.
But, that's another story.

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