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

Isaiah Collier & The Chosen Few

The Almighty

(Duality Suite)

Isaiah Collier is a multi-instrumentalist blazing out of Chicago. About to turn 26, Collier’s ascension into the upper-echelon jazz world is happening now. His 2021 release, Cosmic Transitions (Division 81), received a 5-star review in DownBeat. He was named Rising Star Tenor Saxophonist in last year’s DownBeat Critics Poll. Live shows with his band The Chosen Few, and other incarnations, simply astound. He grew up taking the best from the wide span of music available in Chicago, developing his skills through the Jazz Institute of Chicago and the Chicago High School for the Performing Arts as well as taking in the wisdom of members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). He went on to study at the Brubeck Institute. He learned well and is now an artist in full bloom as evidenced on his latest recording, The Almighty (Division 81). There is so much to take in with this record. There’s a deep sense of the spirituality and fire of Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders as evidenced on tunes like “Compassion” (featuring AACM legend Ari Brown, a mentor) and “Duality Suite (I. +, II. -, III. Divine Masculine, IV. Divine Feminine).” “Compassion” offers a calling of the spirits for the proceedings. It’s just lovely. “Duality Suite” fires off 23 minutes of hold-on-tight, high-tension energy that gives way to soulful contemplation. This single tune offers a full spectrum of the fantastic artistry Collier and company deliver. It’s exhilarating. “Love” is a beautiful medium-tempo tune that speaks to the subject in a complex, churning musical movement with beautiful vocals by vocalist Dee Alexander. “Perspective (Peace And Love)” offers another beautiful message with the repeated refrain of “peace and love” by Collier. The album culminates into another extended, and beautifully complex, composition, “The Almighty.” In addition to the members of his amazing group the Chosen Few — Michael Shekwoaga Ode on drums, Julian Davis Reid on piano and Jeremiah Hunt on bass — Collier adds a group he calls The Celestials consisting of strings, a horn section and an expanded rhythm section to reach shamanistic heights, calling out to The Almighty. It’s thrilling, reflective, spellbinding music that never loses its sense of groove. There’s no way listeners cannot feel the magnetism of Collier’s generous, glowing spirit.

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