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

My take on the situation with Dr. Bruce

Hi, this is Boomer, a neighbor and friend of Bruce (he’s been a family friend for over 20 years), and I assist him with recording at some of the gigs.

Bruce has been a fan of jazz for many years. His father was a trumpet player, and Bruce learned to play trumpet too. He went to a college for music studies where he learned to play the piano, and he listened to Tony Mowod on WYDD in the 1960s.

After a career in Chiropractic medicine, Bruce came back to Pittsburgh, worked for several years here and then retired.

One night about 5-6 years ago we were riding in his car and he said, ‘You wouldn’t believe the great concert I just saw today, it was fabulous!’ It was an outdoor concert in downtown, probably Katz Plaza, with a veteran lineup of musicians.

He was fired up about the great music that was still happening here, and was really happy to have connected with it again. He thought about all of this great music and wanted to be involved, and to do something to help preserve it.

Bruce had recorded doctor lectures with VHS tape equipment, and he started to take it to concerts and record them, bringing tape copies back to the band later. After a few years he bought a digital camcorder system and computer to make DVDs, since it was easier and the quality was better.

Since then, Bruce has made several thousand home-recorded DVDs for the musicians. After a concert it takes several hours to edit and then copy the video on to about 10 DVDs. This is all Bruce, except for a few supporters who have occasionally given him blank disks to help continue his efforts.

I don’t know all of what happened at AVA’s, but if he did sell some disks to the public, knowing Bruce I don’t think he saw that it was a problem at the time.

In general, I don’t think that the public understands rights issues to the level that music professionals do, but more than that I see that Bruce wants to be helpful, a fan who feels so strongly about jazz that he wants to share it with everyone. It’s a feeling that anyone who has ever said to a friend, “Man, you have got to hear this record!” should be able to understand.

Bruce said that he’s willing to learn from you guys, and he would like to continue recording, so a positive step on your part would be to tell him how you would want the DVDs to be handled from now on.

I hope that you will find it in your heart to be forgiving, welcome Bruce back and also to give him some direction for the future.

Try to think about the big picture and the relationship you would like to have between you as a musician and your fans, since we are all in this together.


Views: 36


You need to be a member of Pittsburgh Jazz Network to add comments!

Join Pittsburgh Jazz Network

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on June 2, 2010 at 12:51am
I'd like to see members weigh-in on the WDUQ issue like they have jumped in on this one.

© 2023   Created by Dr. Nelson Harrison.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service