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

I'm a Pittsburgh jazz fan, archivist, improvising enough to create a harmonic dream come true!

As we move into a new century of growth, excitement and development, especially music wise here in
Pittsburgh, it doesn't surprise me that there may be some confusion
and fear amongst my fellow musicians and friends. I'm not the first
Pittsburgher to suggest that Pittsburgh deserves a Jazz Artist Museum
of our own. That's why I created the internet sites of (Pgh Jazz Artist Museum) and to
expose to the world the effervescent spring of melodic genius that
erupts here in Pittsburgh almost daily. This kind of genius will
continue here and needs to be promoted to the world for everyone's

Currently, the four major economic corporate music giants still want us to "only buy the music which they
label as great" overlooking the grassroots vitality that
improvisational Pittsburgh musicians perform daily to small
audiences. The form of promotion I am attempting to create is
based on resonance. Those perfectly resonating tones help give us
energy to see beyond the fear and angry advertising that promotes
that the shoes we are wearing are more important than our
communications with our neighbors. Natural Jazz promotes
harmony even with the lowest blues known to man.

Disruptive patterns are often overly corruptive of the simple task of
breathing slowly to better fill our lungs with air. Being
trained as a doctor of Chiropractic I was awakened to the natural
knowledge that we can best heal our selves from our maladies by
slowing our activities enough to pay attention to the obvious
symptoms. Numbness and pains disappear when we get rid of the

Mis-communication is the cause of more than just the current arguments that have disrupted my archiving fabulous
nightly Pittsburgh Jazz at my favorite recording sites. At first I
also became upset with the events that transpired at AVA's, but then
again altruism reminds me to slow down and breathe deeper to improve
my perception and joy! Sincerely Dr FBM

Views: 48


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Comment by Francis Bruce Marion, DC on June 16, 2010 at 2:33am
Thank you Paul, Phat Man Dee, Ed and Brian, for writing me and clearly expressing your feelings. To clearly verify that I am currently putting on my "air tanks" as I dive deeply into the ocean of melodic media, promotions and historic preservation....not only financially but legally... please verify that Pittsburgh Jazz Artist Museum Organization does exist as a Pennsylvania non-profit entity ( check at the Pennsylvania Department of State web site to confirm the Fictitious Name creation 7/6/2009 and the subsequent active non-profit Pennsylvania status 5/19/2010 ).
Please note I'm simply following through with dreams I've been talking about for years and now I can legally put my financial hand out to my fellow residents of Pennsylvania to better tell the world that we Pittsburghers are best music creators in the world!

As far as future taping, promotion and historic preservation; I, too, am taking small steps on my learning curve and soon will be encouraging my friends to help me float our boat with legally correct oars. The resonating vibrations we can create will be beyond our egos.
Seeing you soon, Dr Francis Bruce Marion

PS: Let's find the esoterically harmonic jazz loving billionaire who wants to name our jazz inspired earthly museum after his favorite piano player and put a better financial motor in "our boat"!!!
Comment by The Brian Edwards Excursion on May 15, 2010 at 11:58am
Dr. Bruce,
I read your Blog and I have to say that I appreciate what it is your attempting to do, however, this type of good hearted effort has taken revenue from musicians for the longest time. Please see this from our side, you do not practice medicine for free to promote the field of chiropractic and as much as we love what we do it's still business. After the lights go down and the gear is packed away we sit down like everyone else, count the money, write checks, and hope our ends meet. Dr. Bruce please understand we appreciate what you are trying to do, but in the future you should communicate with those you want to record and talk a little business about how you are going to compensate the musicians, both the players and composers. I agree that the scene and the musicians should be celebrated and exposed but it has to happen in way that the musicians are shown financial love as well.
Brian E. Edwards
Comment by Ed Skirtich on May 15, 2010 at 8:25am
Hi Paul,

You make some good points here.

One, it's terrific that people want to make films and recordings of our current jazz scene in Pittsburgh, PA.

But definitely Dr. FBM and any other filmmaker must discuss what they want to do with the jazz artist(s) and even seek legal advice on how the profits need to go to every artist involved if that is the mission of the project.

To all filmmakers, talk to us musicians and let us know what your vision is for us on your films.

That's great that filmmakers want to spread to the world that jazz does remain better than ever in Pittsburgh. But they must let the jazz musicians know what they want to do with the film.

I think this dude should pay yinz who are on the film.


Ed Skirtich
Comment by Paul Thompson on May 15, 2010 at 5:08am
I applaud your efforts. I also applaud every musician that's allowed you to record and reproduce those performances. In the end, though, when you record an artist's performance and resell a copy of that, with no written permission, you're exploiting that artist. Period.

As a performing artist, I am for the preservation and support of our art. I do not support artists being exploited to this end, and never will. There are much smarter and more legal ways to raise money. As a patron, as a fan of the music, it is your PRIVILEGE to hear it being played, but also my right as a performer to stop playing. You, sir, have lost your privilege. I cannot, nor can any intelligent musician, allow myself to be taped without any knowledge of how many copies you plan on reproducing, who will be receiving a copy, and how much money changes hands. I was shocked to inform a fellow musician at AVA on Monday that you had sold 3 copies of HIS GIG last week, and he was totally oblivious.

Thank you for your support. Thank you for your intentions. The thing this music needs more than anything is SUPPORT. Not video archives. It needs audiences. Jazz, hell, art in general is about the singular moment. We need people to come and share in that moment. Not tape it, and sell it behind our collective backs. You rob the music, you rob each of us, and you've now robbed yourself. No matter how noble you think your intentions are. You dishonored the music and each one of us that's ever been taped with the first DVD you sold.

Have respect for us. It is your privilege...and our right. Have respect for every Miles and Coltrane and Freddie Hubbard whose tunes fill those DVD's and whose families are not seeing a penny from any profit you make from selling their tunes. Have respect for the club owners that work to get people to come and hear this music the way it was meant to be heard--LIVE, and not on a single-mount DVD or on YouTube. There is no Herbie Hancock or Kenny Barron or Pat Metheny or Chick Corea that would ever allow to you even videotape them, let alone sell a copy. Each one of us deserves that same respect.

I have no intention of obtaining a lawyer (as you recommended)...not yet, anyway, but be assured that I will not be involved in any further illegal activities the next time I see you at a gig. I will not allow myself to be taped, and will reserve my right not to play for you when the camera is rolling. I strongly encourage every musician that reads this to do the same. If you want to support my music, I will be more than happy to give you a schedule of my upcoming gigs or even sell you one of a few CD's that I play on. It's completely legal.

Respect the music. Respect the art. Respect US.
Comment by Phat Man Dee on May 15, 2010 at 3:19am
Dr Bruce, I hear what you are saying, but really, I don't think the musicians see it that way. When someone tapes a musician and then sells it, even for only $5, it's illegal and not cool. The band and venue need to approve of the taping happen and if it's to be sold, royalties paid to the folks who own the copyrights to the songs, most of which are not originals in a jam session..... And it's also a respect thing, I know you want to promote the scene here and that we all deserve a bigger audience, but artists still need to control how they are seen and heard. It's why we go to studios with lovely microphones and balanced acoustics and if we have video done we use the nicest cameras and the nicest lighting we can afford. Your stuff is awesome for what it is, it is an archive of something precious and sacred, so when you go on and sell it without our knowledge or consent it breaks a trust. We trusted you to just use it for promotional purposes. I know it costs alot of $$ to tape the way you do, maybe you should write for a grant to help with costs, but only after you come to a real agreement with the musicians you want to document. Trying to sell the tapes on the sly just feels wrong. I hope you understand. I study at Pittsburgh Filmmakers and I understand your passion, but there is a trust that was trampled here.

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