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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.

 

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Duke Ellington is first African-American and the first musician to solo on U.S. circulating coin

    MARY LOU WILLIAMS     

            INTERVIEW

       In Her Own Words

Treasure Trove Of Jazz To Be Blocked, Perhaps Forever, Thanks To Copyright

from the lost-culture dept

MTGlass points us to David Post's analysis of "the high cost of copyright," in reference to an article about the inability to make available a treasure trove of classic jazz re... that the National Jazz Museum just acquired. The problem, of course, is copyright. The museum wants to make all the works available, and
jazz afficianados, like Post, are eager to hear the music, but copyright
law makes it almost impossible:

Mr. Schoenberg said the museum planned to make as much as possible of the Savory collection publicly available at its Harlem home and
eventually online. But the copyright status of the recorded material is
complicated, which could inhibit plans to share the music. While the
museum has title to Mr. Savory’s discs as physical objects, the same
cannot be said of the music on the discs.


"The short answer is that ownership is unclear," said June M. Besek,
executive director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts
at the Columbia University School of Law. "There was never any
arrangement for distribution of copies" in contracts between performers
and radio stations in the 1930s, she explained, "because it was never
envisioned that there would be such a distribution, so somewhere between
the radio station and the band is where the ownership would lay."


At 70 years' remove, however, the bands, and even some of the radio
networks that broadcast the performances, no longer exist, and tracking
down all the heirs of the individual musicians who played in the
orchestras is nearly impossible.
And don't think these works are going into the public domain any time soon either. As we recently noted, sound recordings are locked away for much longer than other copyrighted works due to some quirks in copyright law.


Post uses this as an example of the "high cost of copyright," pointing
out that many people who first encounter copyright understand the
supposed benefits of the monopoly privilege, but it's more difficult to
understand the "cost," side. Of course, I'd argue that this is more a
problem of the fact that people have been taught to believe that
copyright is designed to "protect the creator," rather than the much
more accurate fact that it's supposed to provide for the public.
The fact that copyright law is quite clearly getting in the way of
this, the intended purpose of the law, suggests that such restrictions
are not, in fact, legal. This is a clear case where such a copyright
restriction is not "promoting the progress," at all, and in fact
hindering our access to important cultural works -- perhaps forever.

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