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


Bill "Honky Tonk" Doggett  just turned 101 years old yesterday, February 16th 2017

London's BLUES&RHYTHM Magazine just published this Feature based on my longer Feature article submitted.     The Melody lingers on.  Visit the Tribute website.

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Comment by SOUTHSIDE JERRY MELLIX on February 18, 2017 at 5:35pm

If it weren't for Mr Doggett's  "HONKY TONK" and Pittsburgh's DJ - Porky Chedwick playing it every day, I wouldn't be playing sax today.  I fell in love with the sound of the classic organ quartet just because of that song.  I can't remember the last time I played that tune with a B-3, drummer and guitar player.   I hope before I retire from "Sho' Bid-ness" I get to do that tune again with a B-3, guitar and drummer.  However, I play Honky Tonk part 2 at any gig that tune is appropriate.  In fact, I  just did it last night at New Brighton-PA's Wooley Bully's Juke Joint.  I was with The Bob Vallecorsa Organ Trio (with drummer/singer Bobby Short).  We didn't have a guitar player and only had time to play a version of Honky Tonk part 2 but I loved it and apparently so did our dancing audience.  I rarely get to play part 1 because most guitar players don't know or remember it.  And most keyboard players I've had the pleasure of working with don't have the sound of that old Hammond B-3 in their patch or carry a Leslie.   Nor do they have the feel of Mr Doggett's Bluesy organ. 

Back in the day I use to do "RAM-BUNK-SHUSH", thinking it was written by Trombonist and Western PA. resident & musician, Harold Betters, because he played it all the time.  His fans would never let him go home until he played it.  I think it was a regional hit for him.  Anyway, for the longest, I couldn't get the sax line down in the Honky Tonk tune and  for me it was easier to play Ram-Bunk-Shush.  Plus the band I was with back in 1963-1965, 'Little Willie Beck & The Crossfires, didn't have a keyboard player.    Ram-Bunk-Shush was easier for us to pull off.   By the time I came out of the Army in 1968, I owned Honky Tonk like it was an old and comfortable jacket that I'd wear every chance I'd get.  And still do!

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