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

James R. Meny's Comments

Comment Wall (13 comments)

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At 3:42am on April 6, 2010, Mara Rosenbloom said…
Hi James,
Mara here. As you appear to be a jazz fan, I am writing to extend to you a personal invitation: My group, the Mara Rosenbloom Quartet will be on tour from New York City next week! We perform original jazz music, & will be kicking off our spring tour in Pittsburgh, Wed, April 14, 8:00pm @ Shadow Lounge. We make this music for sharing! So, I hope you'll be able to join us. You can have a listen at, or simply write me for more info!

Hope you can make it out!

"Rosenbloom renews the trite formulas of jazz with sparkling compositions that are both lyrically contemplative and rhythmically pulsating...This quartet plays music that renders believable the future of jazz. As both a player and composer, Rosenbloom is already singular and ahead of those players satisfied to reside in the dull water of familiar elements." All About Jazz
At 1:43am on June 8, 2009, Roy Ruzika said…
Nelson emailed that you will be participatingin the July 2 Entrepreneurial Thursdays show hosted by Jessica Lee. In order to get you a copy of the email invitation for the show please send me your email address. Pls email me at
At 2:46am on April 14, 2009, Kennard Roosevelt Williams said…
Nice talking with you again...see you soon.
At 5:17pm on January 9, 2009, Jazz Surgery w/ Tony Campbell said…
Cool James by all means
At 4:41am on January 9, 2009, Jazz Surgery w/ Tony Campbell said…
James, people need all kinds of medical attention. Some need musical medical attention, this is where Jazz Surgery comes in. I guess I am one of the Jazz Surgeons on call. (chief sugeron ?)
At 11:00pm on December 15, 2008, Jazz Robertson said…
Hey, I just got your message!

I'm available for the next month, so if your friend needs someone let me know!
At 1:58am on November 16, 2008, Ed Skirtich said…
Hi James,
I won't be able to make Last Days Cafe tomorrow.
But you can catch us this Sat. at 3 PM at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh- Homewood on 7101 Hamilton Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15206.

Thanks for your interest.

Ed Skirtich
(412) 422-4149 (H)
(412) 841-8046 (C)
At 2:32pm on October 30, 2008, Roy Sonne said…
Hello Jim,
Great to meet you at Last Days Cafe. Terrific exchange of ideas! You'll be a great asset to our musical community.
Welcome to Pittsburgh.
At 6:28pm on October 7, 2008, Musique Noire said…
Thanks for the kind words! We hope to do a show in Pittsburgh soon!
At 10:38pm on October 3, 2008, Ed Skirtich said…
Hi James,
You have a fascinating background.
I hope we can cross paths sometime.
Ed Skirtich
Artistic Director/Jazz Workshop, Inc.
(412) 422-4149 (H)
(412) 841-8046 (C)
At 1:29am on September 25, 2008, James R. Meny said…
Jazz artist applies music to heal the body and mind

By Angela Haupt, USA TODAY

Jazzman Stanley Jordan's intuition that music could be a healing force traces back to his teen years. He says he was sick with the flu and spent an entire day surrounded by song — and recovered nearly instantly.

Now, Jordan, 49, is taking his music talents beyond entertainment and into the realm of healing, inspiration and self-esteem.

TREND: More hospitals offer alternative therapies
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"In five to 10 years, music therapy is going to be a household term," he said during a recent telephone interview from the Sheraton Moriah Tel Aviv Hotel, where he was staying during an Israeli concert tour. "I say that because it's so holistic and versatile. It addresses every part of the body in some way or another."

In April, Jordan released State of Nature, a 14-track album that illustrates the relationship between humans and nature.
FIND MORE STORIES IN: Israel | New York City | Earth | Jordan | Arizona State University | Hearts | Grammy Award | Voices | Music Therapy Association | LIFEbeat

He said he had spent time vacationing and connecting with the Earth, which led him to two questions: How can we knowingly destroy the environment and not change our behavior? And what changes can we make to become more in harmony with the environment?

"I used music to answer those questions and express the insight I found," Jordan said. "It's an applied philosophy. And I hope that when people listen to these songs, they'll decide to become more active."

Music is a four-dimensional healing force, he said: It works physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. He points to Relaxing Music for Difficult Situations,I, which he released in 2003.

"I wrote this because I had a dentist appointment, and I wanted something relaxing," he said. "But it turned out to be very melancholy music. I realized that meant I was disappointed in myself, because I hadn't been taking good enough care of my health."

Jordan, a three-time Grammy Award nominee, burst onto the jazz scene in 1985 with Magic Touch, which sold more than 400,000 copies worldwide. He has since released more than 10 albums.

Music therapy describes the clinical use of musical interventions, said Barbara Else of the American Music Therapy Association. Popular methods include playing an instrument, singing, songwriting and lyric discussion. Among those who can benefit: people with mental, developmental and learning disabilities, long-term illnesses, substance abuse problems or brain injuries, and mothers who are in labor.

Jordan is completing a graduate program in music therapy at Arizona State University. There, he is exploring how music can enhance a person's self-esteem and social relationships.

"He's brilliant," said Barbara Crowe, director of ASU's music therapy program. "He is a fabulous, ferocious reader, and he has kept his interest in music therapy and healing. He went on his own quest, really got into the literature and educated himself."

As part of his music therapy initiative, Jordan regularly performs at hospitals and hospices.

"I look at it as sharing gifts," he said. "A woman will start telling us when she heard that song before, or she'll start rocking back and forth, remembering the way she danced. You see people come to life in ways they haven't in a long time."

In April, Jordan teamed with LIFEbeat's Hearts & Voices program, which provides music to people at AIDS facilities in New York City.

Jordan serenaded the crowd with a bevy of songs, then passed out percussion instruments and asked the group to improvise rhythms.

"Stanley is amazing," said Hearts & Voices coordinator Erika Banks. "His career, what he created on the guitar and piano, the way his life has moved forward. I don't think anyone who would see him performing and using his music would disagree."
At 6:18pm on September 20, 2008, Luiz Santos said…
Hello James
Check out my rhythm world!
I wish you an awesome weekend!
Peace, Luiz
At 3:58pm on September 10, 2008, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…
Welcome James,

Thank you for joining. I think we met at Ava on Monday night. It is great to have another great voice and voice teacher available locally. Your background is impressive as I'm sure is your voice. You may be able to pick up quite a few voice students here. We look forward to hearing your instrument.

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