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

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Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on February 13, 2016 at 6:15am


Thank you for sharing your memories of Phyllis.  I remember those days so well.  This is important first-voice history.

Comment by Ronald (Ronnie) V. Randolph on February 12, 2016 at 6:20am

I liked Phyllis, she was a good person and great singer.

I remember her saying to me she wanted to have her style of singing to be a combination of her own voice and the voice of the Great Nancy Wilson. And think she succeeded in her goal to do that, I ran into Phyllis years later and she was dating a member of the group call the B.T. Express at that time. She invited me to visit her in New York at that reunion we then back in the 1970's. I never got to do that visit with I'm sorry to say, but I did appreciate her offer. She gave me a copy of her first 45 record but they had not released it yet.

I enjoyed singing Duets with her, when she and I was a members of the Soul Fantastic band. other members of the group consisted of my self playing Guitar and doing Vocals, Carl Black Guitar, Phillip (Butch)Jones Drums and Tyrone Mitchell on Bass. This some history few know from back in the day before Phyllis Hyman became famous. She will be missed and remembered for her style and grace. R.I.P. Phyllis

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