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

Anyone who was into guitar from the late '60s through the late '70s had Domenic Troiano very firmly on their radar. This man was a major force on the scene throughout his illustrious career and was one of the principal originators of "the Toronto sound". For many of us just starting to play during this time period, Domenic and his customized Telecaster were highly influential and literally held in awe! Donnie played with an intensity and emotion that set him apart from an entire generation of guitarists. Frank Troiano has been gracious enough to loan us the guitar Domenic used throughout most of his career to display in our store as a tribute to this gifted musician who was universally respected and loved in the music world. We would love to hear any stories or memories you might have about Domenic and the many seminal bands he was a part of. Please email us at with "Domenic" in the subject line with your stories or anecdotes and we will pass your emails along to the Troiano family. Here is an excerpt from the Troiano website with a very brief bio of Domenic's professional life.

Domenic Troiano was born in Modugno, Italy in 1946. Troiano and his family came to Toronto in 1949. He became a naturalized Canadian in 1955. A little more than a decade after coming to Canada, he was immersed in the city's burgeoning rock and R&B music culture, and, along with other budding guitar slingers, used to study The Hawks' Robbie Robertson at Concord Tavern Saturday matinees. By age 17 he had taught himself to play from chord books and by studying the work of his musical idols.

He defined what contemporaries call "The Toronto Sound" during stints with Robbie Lane and The Disciples, only a few years after he learned to play guitar, and by replacing Robbie Robertson in the lead guitar role with Ronnie Hawkins. After less than a year with The Disciples, he joined a group that later called themselves Rogues, then the 5 Rogues and, finally, from 1966 through 1969, Mandala. Group's hits included the classic "Opportunity" (1967) and "Love-itis" (1968). Despite Mandala's popularity, vocalist George Olliver left the group in mid 1967. His replacement was Roy Kenner, an old friend of Troiano's. Some of Mandala's members, Troiano, Kenner, and drummer Whitey Glan decided to form a new group. They recruited bassist Prakash John, moved to Arizona, formed the band Bush in 1970 and released one self-titled album. In 1972, Troiano and Kenner joined Jim Fox and Dale Peters in the James Gang Band with Troiano replacing the guitarist Joe Walsh. While a member of James Gang Band, Troiano released his first solo album in 1972. Recorded in Los Angeles, it featured a variety of musical styles. Late 1972, Troiano began working on his next solo project. "Tricky" was released in early 1973. Soon after, Domenic left the James Gang Band and was replaced by Tommy Bolin.

In 1974 Troiano joined The Guess Who as Randy Bachman's replacement. After The Guess Who disbanded, he tried his hand again at a solo career and produced his third solo album "Burning at the Stake" and then "Jokes on Me". In the meantime, Troiano formed The Domenic Troiano band in 1976. The band was together for 3 years. In 1979, Troiano released his last solo album "Fret Fever". Throughout his career, Troiano remained humble and polite in spite of his success, escaping the trappings of fame and excess.

Approximately one year after release of "Fret Fever", Troiano formed the Black Market with Bob Wilson and Paul DeLong. They released "Changing of the Guard" in 1981. In the years following, he started writing themes and incidental music for TV such as Night Heat, Diamonds and Hot Shots. He played for other artists such as Diana Ross, Joe Cocker, Donald Fagen, David Clayton-Thomas, Etta James, and produced albums for singers, including his ex-wife Shawne Jackson. Domenic Troiano, a musician's musician, was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1996.

About a decade ago, unfortunately, Troiano was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He succumbed on May 25, 2005. He was 59.

Views: 621


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

Join Pittsburgh Jazz Network

© 2023   Created by Dr. Nelson Harrison.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service