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, Parlanto 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.
CD REVIEW: "La Hora del Blues" Radio Show from Barcelona, Spain:
"..this excellent recording combines blues, funk & southern soul with taste and class resulting in an actual urban sound, perfect to attract new generations of blues lovers. ..powerful songs. ..amazing punch and good rhythm.
..Jones’ voice and guitar work shine like a dazzling star!"
Born in the deep south of United States, where segregation was present in most aspects of daily life, Billy Jones grew up in his grandfather's bar, listening to blues in different juke joints and bars. Elmore James, Big Joe Turner, Jackie Wilson, B. B. King, Muddy Waters, Sam Cooke and other great blues and soul musicians were his influences and, when he was only five years old, he already had a guitar on his hands. Soon he started to perform for the American troops, which allowed him to travel all over the world and get a wide musical experience. Now he brings us his last and excellent recording, that accurately combines blues, funk and southern soul, always with an excellent taste and class, which makes as a result an actual urban sound, perfect to attract the new generations of blues music lovers. Ten powerful songs with an amazing punch and good rhythm, where Billy Jones’ well pitched voice and excellent guitar work shine like a dazzling star, perfectly supported by Corey Bray on keyboards, Rev. "Do Dirty" Kendrix on bass and Mark Flinoil on drums, together with some studio musicians who contribute to round up a highly recommended work. In short words, this is a superb album in many concepts, GREAT.
"..some stuff you just can't buy at your local music store.
..absolute authenticity ..only comes from the real thing."
..flaming hot funky blues guitar! ..tortured Southern Soul.
..brimstone devil notes blazing from demon possessed fingertips.
“ Billy Jones’ ‘Funky Blues & Southern Soul - Volume 1' is, what the title already suggests, a mix of fine Southern Soul and great blues, where Billy's sometimes scorching guitar goes far beyond the qualitative average… “ - www.rootstime.be
..bring the fun ..passion ..danger ..excitement ..sexuality ..mystery ..mojo and magic that you get when you hire artists that have actually traveled the Blues Highway in the Land Where The Blues Began.
Book the NEW American Bluesman & his band of Genuine Road-hardened Delta Blues Outlaws for the best time ever at your Festival, Show or Event.
"Billy Jones brings back the Thrill. No one who I can think of has taken a truly contemporary look at traditional blues with the musical and lyrical intensity of Billy Jones. A refreshing blast of the really great sound of Healing Blues, Jazz, Funk Music. Loaded with Rich Blues Tradition. B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Even Johnny Winter Flavors. I recommend his cd 'Funky Blues & Southern Soul - volume 1' to any avid blues listener and I look forward to hearing more from the reclusive Billy Jones.
This guy is the real deal and this is a great CD!"
..to every Entertainment Director in every Blues Society, Juke Joint & Honky Tonk on the planet Earth.
...bring the absolutely authentic & real thing to your festival, show or event. ...book The Billy Jones Band.
Taking Blues to New Places with R&B, Southern Soul, and Urban Style :
"One of the very Best Authentic Modern Blues and Soul albums in recent memory.
Billy Jones is a totally charismatic veteran who shows all the signs of becoming as big or bigger than Buddy Guy.
What really got to me were the lyrics. ...it is “Blues” ..transformed, updated and urbanized.
Exquisite Modern and Traditional Blues and Neo-Soul by one of the most talented artists on the contemporary scene.
This man has enormous talents. ..he has a quiet demeanor which disappears when his performance starts.
Then he transmogrifies into an animated music machine. ..a great musician and a gifted performer. ...and a nice guy." - http://www.soul-patrol.net
"...he has a voice that will enchant you. ...his songs are oozing with sexuality. ...at times dark. ...mysterious. ...downright funky, and always compelling. ...Billy Jones is certainly his own man. ...with a show-stopping style!" Mz. SouthernSoul Blues Critic
...genuine road-hardened delta blues outlaws. ...blues/funk meets southern soul!
"...his vocals are a blend of blues intensity and style with urban soul. ...incredibly soulful and funky! ...it’s as if every song chastises me for never having heard of this man or his music before now. ...a combination of multiple genres while still maintaining a great late night, urban club feel. No matter if you want to call it soul, blues, R&B or whatever, Billy Jones can really put some emotion into his music. ...and as I say all the time, that is what music, and especially Southern Soul music, is all about. ...each of the songs guarantees I’ll be back for more."
- Southern Soul Review
Book This Band to perform at your Club, Festival or Event.
Billy Jones spent his teen and young adult years touring with, playing back-up guitar and being mentored by Calvin Leavy, Little Johnny Taylor and Larry 'Totsie' Davis. ...these are the original versions by the original masters that were written and recorded long before the cultural raiders and imitators came along.
All three of these great artists died penniless and unrecognized. ...and their life's works stolen to make fortunes for others. Now ain't that the Blues?
...it is an honor to have been a musical soldier in their bands.
...the band is here! ..the band is here! ..the band is here!
..the authentic american bluesman learns to transmogrify into whatever form best suits the audience that is before him on any given day, as he travels the Blues Highway on his journey to…