PT Gazell & The Side Effects

PT Gazell & The Side Effects

 Kingston Springs, Tennessee, USA

Hot, swingin’, smooth, original, clean, lyrical, faster than a speeding bullet, diatonically chromatic, one of a kind, masterful, the swingingest, “Oh yeah, like what?,” Nat King Cole, Bob Wills, Benny Goodman, Louie Jordan, Ben Webster, Sweets Edison, Wes Montgomery, Tiny Moore. Dig That!


PT Gazell has earned his position as a master of the diatonic harmonica by taking the long way around from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin to Nashville, Tennessee

First picking up the instrument in his late teens, the Wisconsin-born, self-taught player honed his craft by taking on all manner of musical styles and traveled a circuit that included bluegrass, folk, pop festivals and gigs. His instinctive musicality allowed him to explore and expand his repertoire and achieve a lofty level of mastery very quickly.

Still early in his musical evolution, Gazell found his way to Lexington Kentucky in the mid-seventies. At the time Lexington was a hotbed of young bluegrass musicians and PT fell right in with the likes of Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck and others There were great places to play and appreciative audiences. If you were not playing out, you could always sit in at a hot jam session. David Grisman, Tony Rice and Keith Whitley were regular visitors and only added to the buzz.

While in Lexington, PT recorded his first album for Sugar Hill Records, Pace Yourself... it is this recording that announced PT Gazells genius to the world. PT was the first harmonica player, and the second artist, to be honored with a recording contract with famed Sugar Hill Records. His total and complete mastery of the diatonic harmonica can be heard on this seminal recording, which set the bar for all other players who followed.

Gazell became a sought after side man and session player for some of Nashvilles biggest stars, which included Johnny Paycheck and Mel McDaniel. He spent the next part of his career playing and recording all over the world along side the stars of the day. As exciting and fun as that period was, I also began to become somewhat frustrated.

Tired by the road and frustrated by the musical limitations presented by the standard diatonic harmonica, Gazell, much like saxophone great Sonny Rollins before him, disappeared for a while and put his instrument down.

When he finally reemerged it was with a newfound enthusiasm in part created by his introduction to valved harmonicas. Using self-valved harps, Gazells music literally soared to new heights as this new approach allowed him access to musical possibilities hidden on standard diatonic harmonicas. Suddenly I was able to play exactly what I had always heard. The valves unlocked the door.

And PT came out swinging His first recording using the valved diatonics is a masterful swing record entitled, Swingin Easy Hittin Hard that PT released in 2005. Gazells playing on this record begs comparisons to jazz greats Benny Goodman and Ben Webster. The record spurred a brand new interest in PT and soon he was back on the road, only this time fronting various combinations of jazz and swing musicians. Critics and fans alike hailed Gazells return to live performing and the Swingin Easy Hittin Hard quickly became a favorite at NPR stations across the United States.

In 2008 Gazell and New Zealand chromatic harmonica wizard, Brendan Power, teamed up for a swinging, soaring, dynamic sonic masterpiece CD entitled, Back To Back. Gazells work on this once-in-a-lifetime masterwork shows a man at the top of his game. The CD features standards and jazz classics reinterpreted by two of the worlds most gifted instrumentalists.

Gazell followed with a triumphant Chinese Tour that introduced his music to scores of new fans around the world. The Chinese revere the harmonica, yet in this enormous country full of spectacular harmonica players, none had ever been exposed to Gazells unique approach. He opened their eyes and ears to a whole new way of playing and a whole new way of thinking about the harmonica. When asked why he was so well received, Gazell said: I think the harmonica and its sound are in the Chinese peoples DNA. Gazell found himself in great demand as a performer, lecturer, and television personality while in China.

PT began his partnership with high end German harmonica manufacturer, C. A. Seydel, in 2008. PT researched and developed a new valve and setup for his instrument, which bears his name on two models that Seydel produces.

2011 delivered Gazells next project 2 Days Out. It marked yet another milestone in harmonica maestro PT Gazell's musical journey. Perhaps the most musically daring of all his recordings, 2 Days Out explores dynamic sonic combinations that are superbly refreshing, spirited and profound.

2 Days Out garnered 2011 Grammy Nominations in two categories. Jazz CD of the Year and Best improvised Jazz solo of the Year for his solo on There Is No Greater Love.

PT likes to think of his projects as an on going musical conversation between myself and my fans. Judging by the music he delivers, hes quite a compelling and articulate speaker.


PT Gazell "2 Days Out" 2011
PT Gazell "Back To Back" 2008 with Brendan Power
PT Gazell & The Side Effects "Swingin' Easy...Hittin' Hard" 2005
PT Gazell "Pace Yourself" Re Release 2003

Set List

Mixing Jazz & Classic Standards from the "Great American Songbook" including songs such as:

"There Is No Greater Love"
"My Romance"
"Robbins' Nest"
"Honeysuckle Rose"
"Seven Come Eleven"
"A Train"
"When I Fall In Love"
"How High The Moon"
"Our Love Is Here To Stay"
"In Walked Bud"