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
Despite a last minute, enforced change of venue, the Cairo Jazz Mania Festival managed to get under way more or less on schedule. The new venue was one of Cairo's most interesting tourist sites, the Citadel, a 16th century Mamluk castle set high above Cairo and it provided an incredible backdrop for live jazz performances. Lack of sufficient publicity meant that crowds were relatively small but what they lacked in size they made up for in enthusiasm. High spots were the Jazzex Band, an a capella, close harmony vocal sextet from the Ukraine, French melodian player, Richard Galliano, jazz diva from Fiji, Michelle Rounds, an unknown but incredibly talented piano player, Alejandro Falcon from Cuba whose speed and intricate improvisations left one breathless and the joint German/Egyptian collaborative band led by Matthias Frey with Rudi Siebert on saxes.
For next year's festival, I have been invited to join the festival board, a dubious accolade as it means a year of shear hard and unpaid work ahead. I am planning to take a leaf out of Norman Granz' book and invite a couple of rhythm sections and a bevvy of top soloists who will be invited to "battle" and jam on stage. So, far, the response from one famous and indredibly talented bebop trumpeter, who was my first invitee, was extremely enthusiastic. Let's see how things pan out during the the rest of the year. Watch this space for ongoing reports.
Peter Campbell.

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