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

Queen of Soul delivers powerful performance at Heinz Hall

Jack Fordyce | Tribune Review
Aretha Franklin started her show with '(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher, 'Jump to It' and 'Oh Me Oh My' during her performance in Pittsburgh Tuesday, April 21 at Heinz Hall.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 12:16 a.m.

Some moments Tuesday night at Heinz Hall were very much like a time warp, as Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, belted out several of the hits that made her famous.

Aretha took the audience on a condensed, hour-and-a-half tour of the her storied music history, with portions of the show devoted to R&B, gospel and lively pop.

Much of the time, Aretha's powerful voice maintained that characteristic gritty, husky tone that led Rolling Stone magazine to name her the Best Singer of All Time.

The Detroit native wore a sparkly white gown with a snowflake-like pattern, and performed in front of a huge symphonic band and a trio of backup singers.

Unfortunately, Aretha's backup singers only teased us at the beginning of the show with a quick snippet from “Chain of Fools” — one of her most iconic songs — but she didn't follow up with the whole song. However, the crowd did get several favorites, such as the fun and energetic ‘80s anthem “Freeway of Love” — which got the otherwise mellow crowd standing up and dancing — along with the sensual ‘60s song “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and the sassy ‘60s classic “Respect.”

Aretha devoted a spirited portion to gospel music, the first music she learned to sing as a Baptist preacher's daughter. It had the inspiring feel of a modern worship service.

Aretha continued to surprise at the end of the show when she returned to the stage several times after the encore, adding more spice to the concert with smiles, waves and quick little dances.

Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 412-320-7824.

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