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

Dr. Nelson Harrison - Smithsonian Jazz Interview

An excerpt from a 6-hour 2012 interview by Smithsonian Jazz journalist Ken Kimery at Manchester Craftsmens Guild

Views: 90

Location: Pittsburgh, PA


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Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on June 18, 2012 at 5:46am

Hey Stan,

That's very exciting that you have those SD scores.  I played a week with him under George Rhodes in the 1980s after I left the Basie Band. He had Fip Richard on lead trumpet then. Unfortunately though we hung out a bit that week, I never took any photos.  I also spoke with Al McKibbon once on the phone before he passed.


Jimmy Ponder is one of my closest musical friends. He is a genius and he can also sing.

I'm confident that we will collaborate someday.  You are right in the cut on your activities and I'll help anyway I can.


In jazz we trust,



Comment by Stan Gilmer on June 17, 2012 at 1:54pm
Comment by Stan Gilmer on June 17, 2012 at 11:20am

By the way, please give my regards to Jimmy Ponder, if you run across him in Pittsburgh who used to watch me early on, in Newark, N.J. when I was testing myself in the musical waters. He's a GOOD BROTHER who gave me nothing but encouragement during those early musical years.

Comment by Stan Gilmer on June 17, 2012 at 11:15am

Yes sir, and thank you for the push here at the network. I have over 500 or more of Sammy's scores. The real deal. I should have got them all but George Schlatter moved in and grabbed what was left on the back in. I don't blame him. These charts, to me, are priceless. What I would like to do eventually, before departing this earth, is to make them available to students for free, especially young arrangers who can learn from these master arrangers like Jay Jay Johnson, Ernie Freeman, Nelson Riddle, Don Costa, Ian Frazier and so on in my possession. Meanwhile, I'll work them and keep them musically alive as best I can for my musical folks. Who knows, maybe we can do something together soon. By the way, I'm in touch with James Leary, Sammy's bassist who took that spot when Al McKibben passed on. Told me he's ready to go whenever the bread is there. How I'd love to get him and Clayton Cameron, drummer, back on stage backing me up with other bad cats. One of my dreams. Happy poppa day to you and DIVINE ORDER.

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on June 17, 2012 at 3:46am


You speak the truth and I will get the book.  MAy I also thank you for your activity on this network.  You practice what you preach.  I enjoy all of your videos and look forward to us meeting sometime soon.


Happy Father's Day

Comment by Stan Gilmer on June 17, 2012 at 3:00am

You mentioned Gloria Lynne. I read her book, "I Wish You Love". I purchased 3 brand new hard copies for 98 cent per book. It's a must read for anyone studying the history of music experience here in America. I was amazed at how Dinah Washington, according to what I read in the book, developed a cadry of female vocalist that she, Dinah, gave gigs to that she couldn't make because she was already booked elsewhere. I thought that was cool and it illustrated looking out for one another under weird circumstances. I also learned something about Sinatra, according to the book, that illustrated the ruthlessness in the business especially when someone of his stature gets beat up in the details of a contract that he apparently signed and discovered later that he got the worse of it. Read the book. I acquired my copies from a couple of years ago. We have GOT TO STICK TOGETHER. It's serious out here in America.

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