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, Parlanto 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.
Mark, where willl you playing over the holidays?? Would love to get my guys (Kenny & Ken) out to get together with you!! It's been a long time coming!!...Can't believe how time has past! Have a wonderful Christmas!! 'Joy To The World!!' Kristy Will
Kristy and I would love to see you perform sometime. Is there a site I can keep updated on your performances? My daughter Katie lives by the Rhythm House. Do you gig there much? Never will forget the Carol days. I'm proud of you.! You have done very well. Ken
Hey Mark: Wasn't checking regularly so didn't notice that you had agreed to my request to link up! I'm playing regularly again, in part to reclaim my "street creds" as I now publish that stuff on jazz and "emergence" in physics and cognitive science (first of two sections sent off to editors, and in part to play out a bit (with Roy Sonne among others). Best wishes.....mer
Ahhhhh man MARK it has been a long time you are one of my favorite players.
I am in Tokyo now and headed for Guam in January I will be in LA in July and also the Pittsburgh area hope we can meet there it would be great.
Okay, here's the deal, Mother B has many photos of you and I would be glad to show you how to download one for your site picture so Matt will remember what you look like, however most of them are over 15 years old, but then again so is mine. Hope you are feeling better. Call me "Mr. Koch" when you have time.
Hey Mark! How's life? I thought I might see you when I played Karsh's concert at DU. It was fun, although I had a hard time finding space to shove an idea in here and there. :-) Between Kenny, Ron Fudoli and John Schmidt it sounded like a pet store on fire! But I got my licks in...