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

October 10th marks the 97th birthday of Thelonius Monk. His music will be heard in an all-day marathon broadcast on  (WKCR 89.9 FM New York)

WKCR is not an ordinary radio station. On October 10, 1941, KCR began its initial broadcast playing Gene Krupa's, "Swing is Here" featuring Roy Eldridge, Chu Berry, Benny Goodman, Jess Stacy, Allan Reuss, Israel Crosby & Gene Krupa.  During KCR's first year, Monk was broadcast, through a remote pickup,  "live" from Minton's Playhouse.....three years before his initial studio recordings! These historic recordings will be played, as always, during his birthday broadcast, Oct. 10th.

WKCR's commitment to jazz music continues and its connection to Pittsburgh jazz remains paramount.

After the death of Roy Eldridge's daughter Carol, the entire contents of the Eldridge household, including Roy's collection and memorabilia, were placed in a dumpster outside the Eldridge home. The revelation left the jazz community in numb disbelief, knowing that what was now in a landfill, contained jazz artifacts of incomparable artistic genius. Nothing could be done. The die was cast and that was the end of the story.

Fast forward to 2012:  During the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, jazz educator and historian Phil Schaap, received a phone call indicating a distraught collector, who had known of Roy, the dumpster and its eventual destination, had gone dumpster-diving, retrieved the contents and transported them to his basement. A sigh of relief is unfortunately premature as Sandy's wrath devastated his house, his basement and Roy's collection, including invaluable acetates, which were now sitting underwater.

Director of WKCR Ben Young, along with several student-interns, headed immediately to the Far Rockaways and filling two vans, retrieved the collection. Under the supervision and expertise of Phil and Ben, what was salvageable was meticulously restored. On Roy's 2013 Birthday Broadcast, jazz aficionados and fans worldwide were giddy with excitement at hearing a previously unknown recording of Roy's masterpiece, "After You've Gone"!

Pittsburgh Jazz Lives! Little Jazz Lives!

WKCR is worthy of your attention.

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