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

It's not just jazz that is being ignored by the current generation, it's most anything of quality.

Most all of my music jazz music heros are, or were, black artists. It is sad to think of the hardships that many had to endure because of the regressive times like the 20"s and 30"s when some of the greatest black artist were struggling to be heard and find a place in the music world. We are all helpless products of our time and black artists reflected those bad times and, for most, overcame almost incredible odds to become artists. As a white pianist, it is very disturbing to be performing jazz, but the black audiences under 40 or so virtually walk away puzzled, while those who are older are caught up in the music and appreciate it. But for the young of today, (black or white), I'm afraid that rap, hip-hop and the like are the only thing they understand, and sadly, almost none of this "music" needs instruments. Under those conditions, how many youngsters are ever going to be stirred into learning how to play an instrument, especially when so much practicing is required to be good? To be a good player, you have to have the love, determination and dedication required to spend the daily hours and years that it takes for any musician to learn his craft. 

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Comment by ABSHALOM BEN SHLOMO on October 23, 2014 at 6:37pm

" sound truly has the inherent power to produce the promised effect,and so be it "

Comment by Roberta Jean Windle on October 9, 2014 at 11:48pm

I love listening to live jazz, but especially watching young men and women so passionately displaying their love of the music. 

Comment by Rick Nowlin on October 9, 2014 at 4:18am

I know Bill -- through his son -- and can verify his love of the music.

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on October 9, 2014 at 2:56am

Well said Bill.  I hope more members weigh in on this important thread.

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