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


Gloria Coleman - organ, Grant Green - guitar, Leo Wright - alto sax, Pola Roberts - drums. Now you know. I played a set with Pola in 1971 in Market Square when she sat-in on drums with the Wendell Byrd Quartet: Jerry Byrd - guitar, Tom Soisson - drums, Nelson Harrison - trombone, Wendell Byrd - Hammond B3 organ.

Views: 273

Location: New York, NY


You need to be a member of Pittsburgh Jazz Network to add comments!

Join Pittsburgh Jazz Network

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on September 29, 2008 at 4:40pm
You know Jerry Byrd? Jerry and I were in school together from kindergarten until he walked out of school in 9th grade and went on the road with his brother Wendell, who was a most amazing B3 organist. Jerry and I were in our first professional group together and is like a brother to me. Small world indeed.
Comment by Diva JC on September 29, 2008 at 2:22pm
I love Grant Green, his music is the standard for jazz guitar. What a small world it is, Leo, Jerry Byrd, now living in Atlanta, lived in South Florida for many years, working with Freddie Cole!
Comment by Diva JC on September 11, 2008 at 5:51pm
I have the privilege of singing with Gloria Coleman in West Palm Beach some years ago. Fantastic Woman in Jazz!
Comment by Janelle Burdell on September 11, 2008 at 2:44pm
Wooooooo! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have heard of Pola for years, but never had a chance to 'hear' her! Being raised in this legendary tradition of jazz and especially of great drummers of Pittsburgh-- I see it is not only the men who break ground here! I believe Max Roach would often speak of another gal from 'S Liberty--Ethel Minor and her idea now known as the...ah...High Hat! My sistahs!! Thanks again!
Comment by DR. LEO CASINO on September 11, 2008 at 1:55pm
That is my cousin, Pola, I miss her.

© 2023   Created by Dr. Nelson Harrison.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service