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

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Comment by SOUTHSIDE JERRY MELLIX on March 6, 2019 at 6:15pm

Thanks for posting Dan.  It was great to see so many names of people and places I knew or knew of, 'back in the day'.  At the time, I never thought the numerous Jazz venues would cease to exist.  I took for granted that a lot of them would continue under the same or another name.  I'm fortunate to have lived and experienced being in a lot of the places listed.   I loved sitting in Dr. Nathan Davis' classes at Pitt....."I wish I took my time there and his time more seriously".  That R&B and Blues world then (and now), was calling me too loudly and too often and paying too well for this lower Hill resident not to be enamored by loss!!  

I see and am reminded there was no phone area codes back then.  I wonder when they came in to being?

Comment by Kevin Hurst, Sr. on March 6, 2019 at 1:08am

Great issue ! Man many Pittsburgh folks my age should read this and become aware of tbe Jazz legacy this town their has. Before I knew a lot jazz I knew the popular artists on tbe Chitlin Circuit from Pittsburgh and other places. Before WWII Pittsburgh actually had the 3rd largest city population ~ 800,000! After NYC , and Philly. Industrial giant, education, many new immigrants location- many innovators leaving and ended up in other noted cities then Europe and Japan.! Didn't take long to rebuild and get the Pittsburgh sound out. Thanks brother Dan Wasson.

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