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

Economic Generators of the Past. What is to Come?

This information was sent to me by my good friend Mark Anthony Neal.


Bookies and gamblers bailed out blacks during The Depression. Who will save us now?

Running the Numbers
By Robert E. Weems Jr. |

Sept. 30, 2008--Despite its failure in the House yesterday, a massive taxpayer-financed bailout of the nation's various financial institutions remains a near certainty.

Black taxpayers in particular, who have been disproportionately affected by the housing crisis, have reason to be anxious about how they will fare in the rescue scenario. If only numbers runners held the kind of clout today that they did during the Great Depression.

In the 1930s, at the height of the Depression, black gamblers rescued the Negro Baseball Leagues from going under-an action that would have repercussions for years to come.

African-American workers, always the "last hired, first fired," were vulnerable during the Depression. Black-owned businesses, which depended exclusively on black consumer support, also suffered mightily. High black unemployment rates associated with the Depression meant fewer sales and profits for African-American enterprises. In 1929, aggregate sales for black America's 24,969 retail stores was $98.6 million. Six years later, in 1935, there were 22,756 black-owned retail stores, and their aggregate sales had plummeted to $47.9 million.

At the same time that black-owned retail outlets, banks and manufacturing concerns were either closing or losing money across the country, the "numbers racket," or "policy" (an off-the-books lottery run by private individuals), took off. In fact, numbers rapidly eclipsed legitimate black businesses as the primary economic force in Depression-era black communities.

Although the numbers racket targeted working-class and poor communities, and were unregulated and untaxed by the local governments, there was little, if any, stigma among blacks to being involved with policy. Numbers bosses nevertheless sought respectability by investing gambling profits in legitimate businesses. During the 1930s, black baseball attracted a great deal of this money.

Gus Greenlee, who was known as the "numbers king" of Pittsburgh, was the most influential black-gambler-turned-baseball-team-owner. He organized the Pittsburgh Crawfords in 1931, and Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige and James "Cool Papa" Bell were among the stars Greenlee's laundered gambling profits attracted. Other prominent East Coast gambling figures who revived black baseball included Alex Pompez, owner of the New York Cubans; James "Soldier Boy" Semler, owner of the Baltimore Elite Giants; Abe Manley, owner of the Newark Eagles; and Ed Bolden, owner of the Philadelphia Stars.

Read the Full Essay @:

Views: 25


You need to be a member of Pittsburgh Jazz Network to add comments!

Join Pittsburgh Jazz Network

© 2021   Created by Dr. Nelson Harrison.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service