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

Melissa Jones's Blog (37)

Accessing WKCR can be accessed at:
Go to upper right corner and click "Listen Now"

Also note: WKCR is currently airing the Rudy Van Gelder Memorial Broadcast.

Added by Melissa Jones on August 26, 2016 at 11:49am — No Comments


The Lester Young and Charlie Parker Birthday Celebration

Aug. 27, 28,&29 will present continuous, commercial-free radio, celebrating the birth anniversaries of Lester Young and Charlie Parker. Beginning August 27th, the genius of Pres and Bird will be displayed through Jazz rarities, interviews, expert commentary and, of course, their glorious music. Phil Schaap, Jazz historian and…


Added by Melissa Jones on August 24, 2016 at 5:00pm — 2 Comments

Roy Eldridge

Happy Birthday to the incomparable, Pittsburgh Jazz Great Roy Eldridge! January 30, 1911.

Added by Melissa Jones on January 28, 2016 at 2:44pm — No Comments

Happy Birthday Klook!

Happy Birthday Pittsburgh Jazz Great

Kenny Clarke - January 9, 1914

Added by Melissa Jones on January 9, 2016 at 7:45pm — No Comments

December 28, 1903

Happy Birthday to Pittsburgh Jazz legend, Earl Hines!!!!

Added by Melissa Jones on December 28, 2015 at 1:29pm — 2 Comments

Billy Strayhorn

We're celebrating the exceptional Billy Strayhorn, here in the NY Metro area. Check the current WSJ article on "Musicians Take the A-Train".

Billy Strayhorn Lives!

Added by Melissa Jones on November 30, 2015 at 3:56pm — 1 Comment

Happy Birthday Thelonious Monk & Art Blakey

Thelonious Monk, 10/10 and Art Blakey, 10/11 continues its 74 year history of providing listeners with the glories of Jazz music. Saturday, 10/10, the station will celebrate Thelonious Monk, in a continuous, all-day tribute to the man and his music! WKCR began broadcasting JAZZ, 74 years ago, featuring Roy Eldridge on Gene Krupa's rendition of "Swing Is Here". The station's commitment to JAZZ stems from a massive archive…


Added by Melissa Jones on October 7, 2015 at 2:38pm — No Comments

Howard McGhee Talks Fats Navarro

An incredibly interesting, 14 part interview with Howard McGhee discussing and reminiscing about Fats Navarro has just been posted (6/14/2015). The interview(s) was conducted in 1977-78.  What a remarkable piece of jazz information and history!

Added by Melissa Jones on July 14, 2015 at 4:01pm — 1 Comment

Pops is Tops!

Louis Armstrong was born August 4, 1901. At the onset of his upcoming 114th birth anniversary, reflection on his magnitude and impact on jazz can't be overemphasized.

Louis left New Orleans after his mentor, Joe "King" Oliver, had summoned him north. Oliver's band, King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, had established itself on the south side of Chicago. This band, along with Louis' role as second cornet, is the historic example displaying all elements of what jazz was and what jazz was to…


Added by Melissa Jones on June 30, 2015 at 1:31pm — No Comments

Ornette Lives!

A week long memorial broadcast is currently being aired on the life and music of Ornette Coleman.

Aside from Ornette's music, there will be additional insight into his musical legacy through presentations by Phil Schaap, jazz historian and educator.  Listed below is his schedule.  The presentations provide an educational narrative which allow for a deeper understanding and appreciation of Ornette's music. Schaap's presentations are of interest to both those uninitiated with Ornette's…


Added by Melissa Jones on June 13, 2015 at 2:02pm — 3 Comments

Prelude to Duke Ellington's 116th Birthday

The Ultimate Jazz Fans: Jack Towers and Dick Burris

Jack Towers and Dick Burris had been thinking about the logistics of their plan for a year and as the details crystalized, their novel idea neared reality.  On November 7th, 1940 the two young men would define…


Added by Melissa Jones on April 24, 2015 at 12:24am — No Comments

Billie Holiday Centennial

April 7th marks the centennial celebration of the incomparable Billie Holiday. Her genius remains the foundation for jazz vocalists and her legacy reigns supreme.

The Swing Song Tradition 

By the early 1930's, the Jazz Age was coming to an end. The 2/4, oomp-pah rhythm of the 1920's was giving way to the smoother, more elastic rhythm of the Swing Era. Benny Goodman officially got the ball rolling at the Palomar; but the Jazz Age Orchestra had left a…


Added by Melissa Jones on April 3, 2015 at 5:15pm — No Comments

Theodore "Cuban" Bennett

Roy Eldridge indicated "Cuban" Bennett (from McDonald PA and Benny Carter's cousin) was an incredible trumpet player. Anyone who catches Roy's ear must have something to say and I wonder if anyone on the Pgh. Jazz Network ever heard him play (as he died in 1965) or has any extensive biographical data?

Added by Melissa Jones on March 14, 2015 at 4:22pm — No Comments

Clark Terry

Sun, 22 Feb 2015, 3:00pm - Tue, 24 Feb 2015, 3:00pm
Join us as we honor the life and work of Clark Terry, who passed away on Saturday,…

Added by Melissa Jones on February 22, 2015 at 9:33pm — No Comments

Fred Staton's 100th Birthday Gig

Last night, (February, 14th) Fred Staton celebrated his 100th birthday!  WOW!  Not only was Fred present at Local 802 to enjoy the celebration, he PLAYED! Happy 100th Birthday Fred Staton! 

Added by Melissa Jones on February 15, 2015 at 9:05pm — No Comments

Hear Roy Eldridge's "Lost" Recordings

Happy Birthday Roy Eldridge! January 30th marks Roy Eldridge's 104th birthday. Roy's music will be heard ALL DAY, Friday 1/30 on

Roy's "Lost" Hurricane Sandy Recordings Addendum: You may recall my previous post (10/8/2014), regarding the loss of Roy Eldridge's vast jazz memorabilia and recording collection; the contents of his basement, being thrown into a dumpster, discovered and retrieved, only to become water damaged from the wrath of Hurricane Sandy. Phil…


Added by Melissa Jones on January 24, 2015 at 5:50pm — No Comments

Small and Under the Radar

October 10th marks the 97th birthday of Thelonius Monk. His music will be heard in an all-day marathon broadcast on  (WKCR 89.9 FM New York)

WKCR is not an ordinary radio station. On October 10, 1941, KCR began its initial broadcast playing Gene Krupa's, "Swing is Here" featuring Roy Eldridge, Chu Berry, Benny Goodman, Jess Stacy, Allan Reuss, Israel Crosby & Gene Krupa.  During KCR's first year, Monk was broadcast, through a remote pickup,  "live" from Minton's…


Added by Melissa Jones on October 8, 2014 at 4:55pm — No Comments

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