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

L-R: Chuck Austin - trumpet, Ramon Morris - tenor

Photo taken at Crawford Grill #2 by Nelson Harrison


Front Row:  Nelson Harrison - piano, Kevin Brown - baritone sax, Ramon  Morris - tenor sax

(Photo of George Gee's Make-Believe Ballroom Orchestra at The Metropol, Smallman Street, Pittsburgh, PA - 1989) (c) Timeslice Publishing


L-R: Ramon Morris, Nelson Harrison

(c) Timeslice Publishing, 2014

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Replies to This Discussion

Kenny Fisher had a saturday matinee at the Casbah (now the Red Onion) with Ron Tucker and Mark Strickland. Ramon came and played every week.  Him and Tuck would blow everyone away. real powerful, one the best tenor players every got to hear on the bandstand. rest in peace

I realize that this is a late reply, but I am saddened that only one of our musical brethren commented on brother Morris' passing. I met him and played a handful of gigs with him along with David Moore, Tubby Daniels and the late Mark Taylor in the mid 90's. Up until then I had not heard of him. We did a few hits and I learned more in those few gigs than in hundreds of others I had previously done, just by being in the same room with him. His playing had such depth and rich tone as well as overtones it was nothing short of amazing. He began mentoring me and the other cats on time, tone and touch. He was at the same time an authoritarian and a gentleman with humility and a great sense of humor. He rattled off some names of cats he had played with-Roy Haynes, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers (around 1972), Woody Shaw. You see his name pop up in various chats online as an "unsung" jazz great. Ironically when I returned to Buffalo, NY, I was on a gig where the pianist leader pulled out a chart he had transcribed by none other than Ramon Morris and recorded by Stanley Clarke! Apparently there is only 1 solo L.P. released by brother Morris in 1974-Sweet Sister Funk that is highly sought after by the real people in the know. You can certainly hear in on You Tube. If you've never heard of him before, you owe it to yourself and to his legacy to give it a listen. I will truly miss Ramon Morris the artist.


found it on youtube, thanks Barry

Thanks for weighing in Barry. Comments like yours comprise our true history that makes up the fabric of our culture. Please post any photos you may have. Ramon was a righteous brother of the craft.


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