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

Jazzmeia Horn and Her Noble Force: Dear Love (Empress Legacy)

Jazzmeia Horn and Her Noble Force: Dear Love (Empress Legacy)

A review of the vocalist's third album, and first with Her Noble Force

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Jazzmeia Horn and Her Noble Force: Dear Love The cover of Dear Love by Jazzmeia Horn and Her Noble Force

Since her 2017 debut A Social Call, Jazzmeia Horn—like her fellow Dallas native Erykah Badu—has plumbed the art of vocalizing in a manner suggesting a gold miner looking to alchemically forge something precious and new. While Badu moved toward neo-soul and hip-hop, Horn found her treasure in slightly askew jazz (and Ntozake Shange-esque poetry) and never looked back. With a resonant voice and a cheeky adoration of scat, she simply brings joy to everything she swings.

For Dear Love—her third album, and first with her Gil Evans-ish band, Her Noble Force, writ large atop the credits—there’s a gentleperson’s agreement: Keep it soulful but always just a little weird. Take the angular, elastic “Let Us (Take Our Time),” or the oblique Ella-meets-Anita O’Day cover of “Lover Come Back to Me” with the band following her rhythmic lead. Take the honking, tooting, body-aching, agave-smelling blues of the spoken-word “I Feel You Near,” or the bifurcated, rim-riding “He Could Be Perfect.” This is the lopsided, triple-knotted tone of Horn’s Noble Force, acting with taste and nuance. This is the tonic sound of a bright singer and ensemble interacting as one fluid lifeforce.

There are more symmetrical numbers too, such as the percolating “He’s My Guy,” on which Horn almost manages the role of a traditional big-band chanteuse, rising horn charts and all, or the gentle Billie-esque ballad, “Money Can’t Buy Me, Love,” where her clarion call is more direct than UPS. Or the slinky organ-driven funk of “Where Is Freedom?,” which causes Noble Force and Horn to jump off the bandstand and shout about how politics and prayer unify. 

Horn is one of nu-jazz’s boldest figures, a singular presence. On Dear Love, she’s making Noble Force a giant part of that singularity. When it’s lonely at the top, sometimes you bring a friend.

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Learn more about Dear Love on Amazon!

Jazzmeia Horn: Social Grace

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