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



Basil Walters Friday, June 19, 2009 For singer, musician, producer Benjy Myaz, it has all come full circle, and that is the revival of jam-sessions where musicians perform in small, informal spaces. It was in this setting, he along with friends, gave a celebratory performance at Christopher's Jazz Cafe located inside the Quad in New Kingston, last Thursday. Myaz. a picture of consistency Whether on vocals or on the bass guitar, the versatile entertainer was at his best during his stint at the event he hosted a week ago in keeping with the re-emerging trend of live music. Smooth jazz blending with reggae and R&B seldom sounded better. In casual wear reflecting his laid-back mood, Benjy Myaz was a picture of consistency as he repeatedly provided a texture of easy-listening grooves. To be on the receiving end of his musical styling of old jazz standards like Teach Me Tonight, R&B stuff such as People Make the World Go Round, Bob Marley's Turn Your Light Down Low, Small Axe and Get Up Stand Up, was an experience to cherish. Tugging at the strings of his favourite guitar, Myaz continued to strike the right chords on The Closer I Get to You and What's Going On. Every now and then the eclectic performer would diversify his musical menu by displaying his vocal efficacy with offerings such as his 1995 reggae cover of Randy Crawford's smash Love Me Higher, via which he broke into the mainstream idiom, Till The End of Time, Love Has Found Its Way, with a few originals like Lovers Paradise and Time thrown in for good measure. His segment in tribute to rocksteady was also appealing and his duets with special female vocalists Leiba and Alisa, with whom he performed Give A Little More Loving and Eternal Love were no less entertaining. For the patrons, the rendition of Eternal Love was a sneak preview of the single to be out shortly featuring Alisa. The duet will be released by Music Werks Productions. In her own right Alisa enlivened the gig with Stepping Out of Babylon and Vice Versa Love. And so was Leiba in her take of Let's Stay Together.

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