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



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Rick Nowlin
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Rick Nowlin replied to Dr. Nelson Harrison's discussion Pittsburgh born composer/arranger Sammy Nestico passes at 96. in the group OBITUARIES
"Many of those arrangements were also great for dancing -- as I did and do. His influnce extended to my writing as well."
Feb 18, 2022
Rick Nowlin replied to Dr. Nelson Harrison's discussion Band leader, teacher, trumpeter Frank Podroskey at 74. in the group OBITUARIES
"I've been privileged to play bari in that big band for the entire time -- and not only that, but I decided to try my hand at arranging while part of it (and that has since become part of what I do). I owe Frank for allowing me to flex my…"
Jan 19, 2021

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Pittsburgh Connection
native, lifelong resident
About Me:
I'm the contemporary jazz critic for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and play saxophone on the side.
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artist, media

Comment Wall (2 comments)

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At 9:06pm on August 13, 2009, Andrea said…
Hello Rick,
Welcome to the only jazz Network original, Pittsburgh finest Dr Nelson's innovation. I pray all is well with you and your family. Give them my love of thanks for raising a fine young man like your self. My name is Andrea, but am a fan of jazz who daddy first introduce me too it by live band in New England, Rhode Island "Emanon". I hope you enjoy the fellowships here! I would love to hear your comments.
At 3:49am on July 17, 2009, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…
Welcome Rick,

You have made a big step forward by joining us. There is almost unlimited free potential you can acquire by using your page. Please don't hesitate and lern as much as you can from what other members are doing. You can start with my page and please add me as a friend.



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