Last night, Tedd Firth’s musical gifts were on FULL DISPLAY! After a long period of not performing, due to the pandemic, he reunited his Tedd Firth Trio, playing to a packed SRO room, at the BIRDLAND THEATRE. In a space where Tedd has often played for others, the master pianist/arranger played a solo gig. Probably the understatement of the year was Tedd admitting that he was dubious about his ability to attract an audience if he did’t have as a special guest a singer from the long list of famous artists he serves as music director to. It was a room full of music lovers who came to hear one of the country’s gifted pianists along with his sidemen, David Finck on bass and Mark McLean on drums.
You really can’t verbally describe Tedd’s virtuosity and improvisational creativity, you have to hear him, but suffice to say, Tedd created jazz arrangements that had you euphoric and rhythmically awe stuck during his up tempos, while also giving you goose bumps during the harmonic depth of his ballads.
Musicianship was at the top of the menu, with no singers, and the program delivered an unexpected emotional wallop be it standards, showtunes, some prime Gershwin, Oscar Peterson or some dazzling treatments of holiday songs. The crowd was clearly here to hear some great music and trust me they were not disappointed!
Note for note this was an extra special event in the Jazz line-up of Birdland.