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

Americana Roots: The Blues Orphans

Americana Roots highlights the freshest and most original Americana and bluegrass from across the pond in the US.  It covers everything from brand-new, just out of the box bands, to cult favourites, to established acts who have yet to reach the UK’s shores.  Storming out of Pittsburhg, Pennsylvannia, sounding like a drunken parade down main street with all your best friends while being led by the funniest guy around is the Blues Orphans.

Band: The Blues Orphans

For Fans Of: Leftover Salmon, David Peel & the Lower East Side, Captain Beefheart

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Members:  Bob Gabig (guitar/vocals), Andy Gabig (harmonica), Mark Custer (cornet), Roger Day (tuba), Dr. Nelson Harrison (trombone), Dave Yoho (drums), Dave Erny (bass), Hill Jordan (trombone)


Discography:  ‘Neighborhood Beat’ (1997), ‘Schism’n Blues’ (2003), ‘Corn Creek Travesty’ (2005), ‘Root Rot’ (2007), ‘Hystericana’ (2013), ‘More Fake Blues’ (2018)

Background:  The Blues Orphans started as duo in 1974 with brothers Bob and Andy Gabig.  The pair played together for the next decade before deciding to start a full band in 1983 and taking on the name The Blues Orphans.  Since then, the band’s lineup has always been in constant motion, growing and shrinking over the years.  Sometimes having horns, sometimes not, but at the center was always Bob with his enigmatic presence, and his brother Andy.  The Blues Orphans sound is blues based and blends rock, polka, punk, bluegrass and just about everything else, while being laced with the sharp, humor of Bob’s lyrics.  Their shows are an unpredictable blur of excitement.  Bob may start playing some weird lick or guitar riff, leaving the band unsure of what song he is going to begin, forcing them to try to follow his unpredictable lead.  This unpredictably has made Blue Orphan’s shows a swirl of energy where the crowd may suddenly break into a giant samba line parading around the venue.

Leftover Salmon’s Vince Herman, has been a fan of The Blues Orphans since his days in high school in nearby Carnegie, Pennsylvania, and is heavily inspired and influenced by the unpredictable nature of Blues Orphans shows.  He has incorporated the anything goes attitude that is the Blues Orphans trademark and Bob’s ability to be completely free and unrestrained onstage into Leftover Salmon shows.  Over the years he has covered a number of the band’s songs live, and even included ‘Unplug that Telephone’ on Leftover Salmon’s 2002 album ‘Live’.  Herman says, “My real hero is Bob Gabing.  He writes hysterical anthems that have inspired me for years.”

What They Do Live:

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