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

The Future of the Jazz Industry


The Future of the Jazz Industry

I started this group because I am curious as to what your thoughts are on: the main problems facing the industry, what you think can be done to resolve these problems, and what actions can be taken to ensure a flourishing future for jazz music.

Location: Pittsburgh
Members: 68
Latest Activity: May 26, 2017

Discussion Forum

New York: Free Jazz and the Avant-Garde

Started by Dr. Nelson Harrison. Last reply by Kevin Hurst, Sr. Nov 29, 2012. 2 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by Ricco J.L.Martello on October 9, 2010 at 12:07am
Hey check out the story I wrote on Roy Ayers and Tom Brown
Comment by Kevin Hurst, Sr. on July 2, 2010 at 5:16pm
Jazz not even mentioning bebop was never for everybody but was community based. A 54yr old african -american who started a blue jazz society told me when she was young OLD folks listened to Jazz. She also said jazz is INSTRUMENTAL, singing and dancing is POP. What did Billy Eckstine and Gregory Hines do? Bebop was the Start of modern music and is the basis for studio musicians , Motown, Philly International etc. I know electric bass players who can play or learn ANY Motown bass line but they can not play JAZZ. Calculus is one of the newer maths to come down the pike and it is 200 yrs old! Jazz musicians invented the Motown Sound, all the studios employed good musicians. I grew up playing funk, soul, then gospel in the black community and the better we got at doing it the less money we made. Jazz cats played Polkas, Standards, blues, did 10 times as many gigs with less equipment and over head. Today there are no black trumpet played from the 70s funk bands I played in who still play in my town. I am the only sax player who still plays because of study, practice and a committment to jazz and blues. Guru was a great artist, Rap/spoken word etc. are all viable but Max Roach said most Rappers are not in the music department but the Drama or Poetry department. In Europe DaVinci, Michaelangeloetc. were before musicians and suffered first. Music was not the backbone of the arts. In USA music is the backbone of the arts because of slavery, no other art form, sport documented the black experience from the start. Today there still is a chasm between music and 'the arts'. Music programs in USA were watered down and dismantled starting in the 50s, luckily a lot of folks thought music was still important just as a lot of attitudes after the Rosa Parks decision did not change. When I took clarinet lessons in grade school (1966)there was a sax, drum, trumpet etc. a group lesson. They were fun but not that good. The chitlin circuit which groomed black entertainers was on it's last leg. Miles Davis was mentored by Clark terry in Stl. and was 2 yrs youinger. Does Wynton Marsalis have a mentor who is less than 5 yrs older? Tony Campbell ? Freddie Hubbard was 20 yrs older than Wynton what about Woody Shaw? Look at the movie 'TAP.
Comment by Kevin Hurst, Sr. on July 2, 2010 at 4:57am
Jazz before bebop was dance music along with blues , gospel etc. in two. Bebop put it in four and became art music but all the purveyors had dance , praise experience. Also recordings were chronicles of a 50s or 60s jazzmen to introduce material then move on. The 70s records had better tech but a lot of them sounded terrible ( pop. dicso, etc.) The combination of acoustic and electronic instruments posed a challenge. Today there are amazing CD's of Joe Newman Live at Count Basie's club with excellent sound. the hardware(players) are affordable. A cousin posted a wonderful video from You tube of George Coleman doing 'I Could Write a Book'. In his late 40s and a jazz fan he did not know who George was! I told him you read Sports Illustrated if you like sports, Down beat etc. is there for jazz. Now he will use the net !So as far as local artists, he is just discovering a world class artist. today you can enjoy the masters still living on the net and better CDs of a 60s Miles record than a 70s pressing or even on Miles or Herbies music Myspace! the future of jazz has to be a LIVE one if it is to endure.
Comment by Anne Annie Friedland on July 2, 2010 at 4:38am
WOW What a loaded question. I was at a seminar this winter and argued for about an hour that jazz did not originate in Africa..lots and lots of influence but it's not like the meranque or some dance done by peasants in the hills in goes further than that. i was trained as a classical pianist, opera singer, flautist, guitatrist and some others but jazz is where I ended up. Why? Because I have perfect pitch, hence a lousy reader and I can improvise. You don't NEED music. Everything I play comes from my heart. Can I get others to get that? I don't know. I do know that more often than not, the answer is :"no". I have been discouraged( I am fam ous for it) and felt like a donkey could have been doing my job......Pittsburgh has m music lovers.
Comment by Don Cerminara on June 23, 2010 at 5:30am it is as i see it. our music...jazz...was being really listened to and appreciated as true art form...lets say from Charkie Parker's time onward...lets say, up until perhaps 15 yrs ago. Why? Jazz requires a little more sophisticated listener than what the public at large, is capable of today. Proof?? Rock and roll...came in. Certainly easy to listen to and "get into". Can any lover of good music seriously argue that "rock" can stand serious scrutiny, alongside bebop. I mean...Elvis Presley??? ok..he was handsome. he shook a mean hip. could he play guitar? Please!!! in jazz one can name two dozen guys who can play guitar...beyond three basic chords!!! not to say people arent entitled to listen to what they like. certainly! but...what do bizarre costumes have to do with great music?? If you want to listen to, people who can really play their axe...or want to hear great music...go to the masters. Bach, Wagner, Beethoven al thats great music. Here comes Parker, playin like no one before. He set the stage for many other great instrumentalists. I can name a hundred.. Great singers? Joe Williams, Sinatra, Bennett, McCrea..Fitzgerald..Vaughn...just to name a few. I thinkd of the great big bands...Basie, Ellington..Rich...Herman...and, ive omitted a dozen others!!!
now we have "rap". at the risk of bein' booed off this page...p u..l..e..a..s..e..!!! No chord structure. Words that border on...maddness!
I make no apologies for my strong feelings. I love "our music", sooo much...i'm fearless in my feelings regarding todays "sounds"
An other big big item...the people who used to GO OUT....raise a little hell...have a drink or two...hang out in a joint like Crawford Grill...have reached the age, where they just dont go out anymore. Its easier to sit at tv...or listen to a great cd! This isnt a rap against those who used to SUPPORT jazz. Its just a natural thing. the passage of time precludes active participation in "our music".
Hell...the people who DO go out and support never heard of Philly Joe, or Mobley..or Rosolino..or Peterson...or Coltrane..or Davis!!! Its sad, but true.
Ill probably catch all kind of hell for the foregoing,,,but I just feel it is true...and I feel it strongly
I applaud u and your supportive group, in trying to re-open Crawford Grill. You can be certain, I'll be there...opening night, and many nights thereafter. I was born and raised on "the hill"! You can take the kid out of the hill...but, not the hill, out of the kid!!
Donny C the bebop fanatic
Comment by Tj Cocker on October 9, 2009 at 4:59am
Kind of Blue turned me on to Jazz. Jam sessions are like going to church. You don't know the sermon until its out there. Ok, not exactly like church, but it's supposed to be full of heart.

Keep on jamming, some people really enjoy it!
Comment by Ed Skirtich on August 31, 2009 at 11:29pm
Hi All,

Wow! There's some folks really upset about what's goin' on in the jazz scene!

Here are some of my perspectives:

At jam sessions we have to endure the house band playing thousands and thousands of notes over thousands and thousands of choruses on say maybe four or five tunes.

The thousands and thousands of notes over the thousands and thousands of choruses makes no sense at all.

Folks at the jam sets never, ever play the appropiate style of jazz- All they hear is applause!

Jam sets aren't supposed to be "Hey, Look At Me! I'm A Star!"

Jam sets are supposed to be sessions where we learn from each other, and network with each other!

I'm so tired of everbody playin' for nothin' at these jam sets, and when I call them for gigs, the complain that it's only $ 50!

Yeah, I agree, that would be great to get paid at least $ 1,000 or more a gig, but if you want to make that kind of money- Look for another job!

Another thing with jam sets- Stop treating the musicians like crap!

We gotta wait all night to play, and when we're up there- Everybody's yellin' at everybody about how many choruses to play- Let us jam set musicians express ourselves- Because without us jam session musicians WHO ARE VOLUNTEERING OUR TIME WHILE THE HOUSE BAND GETS PAID, WE SHOULD BE TREATED WITH DIGNITY AND WE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO CHOOSE WHAT TUNES WE WANT TO PLAY!

As far as those comments on Miles Davis- Wow- That's awfully insulting to the History of Jazz- I love what Miles Davis did for the genre of jazz- Jazz ain't supposed to be - BADEBADABADOBALABABALEBADEBOPLABABADABADABARABABADABADABADOBALABALEBADEBABEBEBEBOP! Which is all you hear for the 4 or 5 hours at he jam set!

As far as those comments on Miles Davis- How can anyone not love the album "Kind Of Blue"? How can anyone not love the Miles Davis Albums "Seven Steps To Heaven, " "Porgy and Bess," The CD with "Milestones" and "Straight, No Chaser," Miles' suddel humor playin' with Charlie Parker, Miles' interpretations of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time," and Michael Jackson's "Human Nature."

Man, Miles could really swing hard too!

Jazz is about soul and beauty and not BEBADABABEDABABABADEBADABEBOP, Etc.

And those comments abour Wynton Marsalis- We would not have jazz music or jazz education if it weren't for Wynton Marsalis!

Anyways, those are my thoughts!

Ed Skirtich
Comment by Sheryl Ann Roselli on August 31, 2009 at 3:50pm
Aja..thank you for the list to check out. Check out trumpeter Mark Rapp...he is astonishing.
Comment by Sheryl Ann Roselli on August 31, 2009 at 3:48pm
I have just read this thread and every comment has merit. Jazz, as proscribed by the "jazz purists" or "jazz nazis" as I call them, has been elevated to a haute art form and taken away from the streets from which it sprung. It has become intimidating the neophyte jazz listener. Wynton Marsalis is as guilty as any jazzer in promulgating this phenomenon. Jazz, as musical art form, needs to absorb other influences such as rap, hip-hop, pop etc. to evolve and survive. I see absolutely nothing wrong with this. Emerging artists are often confronted with jazz snobbery in the form of idol worship for the artists of the past. Well here's a newsflash, Miles Davis was NOT the greatest trumpet player who ever lived. I can think of at least one emerging artist who can "kick his can" technically and artistically. We can all safely treasure the "greats" while nurturing new talent. Bring on the "newbies"..they are the future of the art form called jazz.
Comment by CWR (Fan of Culture) on June 12, 2009 at 1:27am
Wondeful guiding thoughts. I have found, throught my discussions with many people,they are just afraid. So many complain that we can not get along,but they do not extend that hand. So many "say" they want better ,however receed back into thier comfort zone everytime. Afraid of what they may have to face for having thier own thoughts and ideals.

Again beautiful thoughts.

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