The late, great legends of the Colored Musicians Club - The Buffalo News

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The late, great legends of the Colored Musicians Club

The Colored Musicians Club has shone over the decades with bright spirits.

Here are a few of the departed:

Pianist Al Tinney led combos in New York, where he gave Charlie Parker his first job. The late drummer Max Roach gave him credit for being one of the creators of bebop.

As a boy, Tinney worked with George Gershwin, helping rehearse "Porgy and Bess" for Broadway. In his later years he was a fatherly figure at the Colored Musicians Club, mentoring many musicians.

Trumpeter and saxophonist Elvin Shepherd, "Shep" for short, taught Grover Washington and worked with greats including Aretha Franklin, Della Reese, Ray Price and Gladys Knight.

CMC Jazzfest: 150 performers honor 100 years of Colored Musicians Club

Wade Legge, a pianist of tremendous promise, died at 29.

Wade Legge, born in 1934, was a prodigy who, as a teenager, was hired as a pianist by Dizzy Gillespie. He went on to play piano with Charles Mingus, Jimmy Cleveland, Joe Roland and Sonny Rollins. Sadly, he died of a stomach ulcer in 1963, when he was only 29.

Soulful and salty singer Dodo Greene led a colorful life long before she became legend at the Anchor Bar.

She performed in New York City with Cab Calloway, recorded on the Blue Note label with Ike Quebec and was featured in Jet magazine.

Bassist Skinny Bergen was snapped up by Lionel Hampton and went on the road with him.

Pappy Martin and the Love Supreme Jazz Ensemble were a prime draw at the club for decades. The Martin jazz clan also included John "Spider" Martin, a terrific tenor player who toured widely with various greats.

The family is honored by the free Pappy Martin Legacy - Masten Jazz Festival, taking place from 2 to 8 p.m. July 23 and July 30 in Martin Luther King Park by the Science Museum.

Hammond B3 player Joe Madison epitomized "old school."

Boyd Lee Dunlop, the brother of the great drummer Frankie Dunlop, had a bittersweet story.

Born in 1926, he spent most of his life working non-music jobs. He was "rediscovered" in his 80s thanks in large part to photographer Brendan Bannon, who met him and shined a light on him.

Dunlop died in 2013 -- but not before scoring a hit recording and a burst of worldwide fame.

Joe "Groove" Madison was the kind of gut-bucket Hammond B3 player it's hard to find any more. He was known as much for the joy he took in his playing as for his grassroots virtuosity.

Raymond Jackson, a president of the club in its early years, was a conductor and drum major.

He was an international leader of the Shriners, pursuing perfection in the organization's marching bands. And he worked for the City of Buffalo's then-Department of Human Relations, bearing the title of director of rumor control. Jackson died in 1990 at 89.

At 100, the Colored Musicians Club tells Buffalo's history

Email: mkunz@buffnews.com

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