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

February marks the beginning of Black History Month. Various institutions will celebrate the accomplishments of Black citizens, who rightly deserve acknowledgement for their achievements. Phil Schaap will host his annual Black History Month broadcast, in honor of those musicians who, at the forefront of racial discrimination, created a legacy of incomparable music.

Saturday, (2/4), 6:00 PM (EST) - Fletcher Henderson's music will be explored. Henderson, a graduate of Atlanta College, realized early in his career, access to academia and a chemistry professorship was indeed, limited, if nonexistent for an African American. Henderson's musical ability remains legendary, manifesting itself in the creation of the quintessential Jazz Age orchestra -  the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra - while his arranger's capability launched the musical identity of the Benny Goodman Orchestra.

Monday, (2/6), 12:00 noon (EST)  -  Roy Eldridge returns and his music reigns supreme.  His career is marked by multiple racial injustices. As a member of the Artie Shaw Orchestra, the California climate proved inhospitable to an accomplished African American musician. Barred from numerous restaurants, the ultimate injustice occurred with Roy's being denied front door entrance in a Shaw gig, where his name was emblazoned on the marquee.

Monday, (2/20), 12:00 noon (EST) - Lester Young's music is highlighted, as well as, the unfathomable humiliation and injustice, endured through government actions.

Date to be announced: the music of Teddy Wilson. CHICAGO, 1936: Teddy Wilson is to appear on the bill, at Congress Hotel, as a member of the newly formed, Benny Goodman Trio. Both, Benny and Teddy, besieged by death threats, never waiver in their commitment to proceed with the performance.

Jazz musicians are special and this month, we, of the Jazz community, applaud their bravery, of daring to confront the color line.

WKCR 89.9 FM, New York

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Comment by Rev. Dr. Bobby Fulton, Ph.D. on February 9, 2017 at 6:47am

We commend, honor and pay homage to all of our pioneers.  We're indebted more than we can pay.  We're thankful more than we can say.  We have reasonable cause to carry on.

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