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
Arthur (Art) Blakey (October 11, 1919 – October 16, 1990), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Also known as Abdullah Ibn Buhaina, he was an American jazz drummer and bandleader. Along with Kenny Clarke and Max Roach, he was one of the inventors of the modern bebop style of drumming. He is known as a powerful musician and a vital groover; his brand of bluesy, funky hard bop was (and remains) profoundly influential on mainstream jazz. For more than 30 years his band the Jazz Messengers included many young musicians who went on to become prominent names in jazz. The band's legacy is thus not only the often exceptionally fine music it produced, but as a proving ground for several generations of jazz musicians; Blakey's groups are matched only by those of Miles Davis in this regard... READ MORE:

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Comment by David Panaggio on December 3, 2009 at 3:50am
I saw Art at Art-Scape in Baltimore in 1986 along with Sun Ra. Very cool. Has anyone out there been to the Birdcage, in Baltimore or the Closet, Ethel's place ? which are all gone now.
Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on October 12, 2009 at 3:52pm
He played a whole set with us at the Crawford Grill in 1964 replacing Roger Humphries after hearing Roger and complimenting him. I was with the John Heard Quartet with Freddie Tooks on piano . He asked me to go to NYC with him but I turned him down because I was in med school at the time. I played with him one other time at Pitt when Nathan Davis brought him in for a concert with the Pitt Jazz Ensemble circa 1971 at Stephen Foster Memorial Auditorium. Dreams do come true.
Comment by Rodger Anthony Green on October 12, 2009 at 2:53am
Thanks for the reminder. Although Art Blakey was acknowledged as being at the forefront of the be-bop movement, I feel his contributions were still underated. His clarity and precision epitomized the essence of rhythym, sound , harmony, etc. I think I'll listen to his work and take the journey more.
Comment by Doug Jackson on October 11, 2009 at 10:05pm
He had all the YOUNG LIONS, including Clifford Brown.
Hale to The Master Drummer,and all the members of the Jazz Messengers.
Sir D.J.

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