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

About an hour ago I opened up this week's issue of the Soul Patrol Times. Hopefully many of you subscribe to it. Around that same time I also went to get my mail out of the mailbox. I had made contact with Sonny Fortune last week and he had sent me his CD so I can play it on the air.

When I came back upstairs I noticed that Bob had did something that he usually does not do without good reason...he posted a YouTube video of young Black musicians. Not only are these young men the future of the music but all young musicians out there wheater it may be Jazz, Blues, R&B, Rock, etc.

The last few folks I've interviewed have been Henry Grimes, Dr. Nathan Davis, Leon Dorsey and Sonny Fortune. I asked the ALL about the future of the music and they ALL said that we HAVE to pass it down to the younger musicians in order for the music to survive. That was part of what they said but it is something for us ALL to think about. Each One MUST teach One no matter what, provide opportunities for ALL musicians, and expose as many people as possible to the music. We do this through programming on teresterial radio, in cyberspace, in seminars, discussions, by presenting live music and so much more. As I embark on making my monthly event a weekly gathering, I realize that for me to bring folks into the fold be it die-hard Jazz fan or folks just getting into the music that I have to borrow from the past. Include everyone or no one and get it done by ANY MEANS NECESSARY. My committment to music is no fluke and neither is it done because it's stylish or the "flavor of the day". It's a committment to our future and our survival.

I just wanted to share that with everyone today while it was heavy on my mind. Whenever I get down and think things are not working out I go back to my private conversations with Max Roach, Oscar Brown Jr., and Dizzy Gilespie who assured me that I am doing the right thing.

"Pay can't afford to do nothing else"- George Clinton


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