Rest in peace, pianist and composer Ellis J. Pough

The Musicians' Voice

Volume 119, No. 11December, 2019

Ellis J. Pough (photo by Jon Hammond)

To the Editor:

I wish to announce the passing on Oct. 26 of my good friend and collaborator Ellis J. Pough, whose nickname was “Ellis the Nazarene.” Ellis was a pianist and composer who I knew for over 35 years. He lived through some really hard times and was not rich financially but was intellectually rich. Ellis had a unique style of playing the piano using Egyptian modes and other special scales not used much in popular music. In my opinion, he was a true original who was not recognized due the politics in the music business. Ellis was my alter ego – just like Duke Ellington had Billy Strayhorn. I would frequently drive Ellis to the Monday night jazz jams at Local 802, which are sponsored by the Jazz Foundation.
In 2001, Ellis and I wrote a song together called “The Story’s Being Told” (see a thumbnail image below). I would like to share it with fellow musicians and members of Local 802; you can download the full sheet music at my site, This tune can be used as a first dance at a wedding, or wherever a good love song or ballad is indicated.

— Stuart H. Tresser

E-mail letters to or write to Allegro, Local 802, 322 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036. Letters must be no more than 300 words.

The late Ellis J. Pough wrote (with Stuart Tresser) “The Story’s Being Told” (above).