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

Benjy Myaz and friends - polished, soothing, inspiring

Basil Walters, Observer staff reporter
Wednesday, October 08, 2008

It certainly was not a night of "long story short", as Benjy Myaz called his last album released three years ago. On the contrary, with the help of friends singers A'Lisa, Charmaine Limonius and the Guyanese born saxophonist Courtney Fadlin, Myaz, the artiste, on Friday, gave the full length at the Red Bones Blues Café.
A singer, bass player and producer, Benjy delivered a most electic set covering a wide range of moods from a twist of blues, modern contemporary jazz, neo-classic soul to hardcore reggae. In the intimate setting, it was made for easy listening.
Beginning his stint rather slowly with a string of cool instrumentals, his jazz flavoured groove of People Make the World Go Round, defined the tone the show would take.
"Red Bones, how you doing, hope you're having a good time, Welcome Connie and Sherina on the bandstand," Myaz greeted patrons who received him warmly.
He then introduced his first guest for the night, saxophonist, Courtney Fadlin. The Atlanta-based hornsman and Berklee College graduate, who is on a teaching stint at the Edna Manley College for the Performing Arts, featured on Stevie Wonder's Creeping - it was a combination of beautiful elements of smooth jazz skillfully played.
This patron was caught up in the great music delivered by Myaz and Friends.
Even though at times not getting the best out of his voice, more soothing, inspiring selections came in the form of a polished rendition of There's No Sunshine When She's Gone, Stop, Look, Listen to Your Heart (the first vocal offering of the night by Benjy Myaz) Just My Imagination, My Girl, Anniversary, Love Is Where You Find It.
After a short interval, Benjy Myaz continued to tickle the mind with his vocalisation of Give A Little More Loving. Then it was time for some rocking reggae numbers such as My Father, My Friend, Give It Up (True Love), Leave It To Time and I Love You Higher featuring Courtney Fadlin.
Armed with her guitar, the chripy multi-lingual Charmaine Limonius gave a spirited performance in English and Spanish of How Could I Leave, and Tonight in tandem with Benjy Myaz.
Next up was A'Lisa with Visa Versy Love, the Dennis Brown's classic, Love and Hate, Too Experienced, and Beres Hammond's Can You Play Some More.
"The whole thing was to bring out a certain texture which is not the norm, to play old songs with a modern twist. This is a contemporary jazz kind of vibes. It is a reflection of what my instrumental album is going to be like. The album which is going to come out very soon. It is called You Got Me. But we're going to have more roots reggae rocking tracks with that kind of melody on top," Benjy Myaz told the Observer.

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