and songwriter who met Bruce Brucato when he was
twelve years old and went on to assemble a progressive rock band named Rodan in the 1970s. The group disbanded, but Ted lucked
out by landing in the jazz-fusion group, Spyro Gyra. He
played drums on their biggest hit, 1979’s “Morning Dance”. During the recording of the album of
the same name, he was supplanted by Eli Konikoff. Rodan
metamorphosed into a blues-fusion outfit in the 1980s, entitled Gamalon.
By 1985, Ted
had already been enshrined in the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame.
He appeared on
a number of albums in the mid-‘80s, including Melanie’s Am I Real or What? and self-titled albums by The Dick Bauerle
Group and Gloria Loring. In 1987, Gamalon
issued its own eponymous effort.
Ted was integral to the album’s success, mixing, producing,
and multi-tasking on percussive instruments. He also co-wrote two of the songs, “Black
Licorice” and “Cabin #14” and penned the album’s
final track, “Jungle Fever”. Its follow-up was 1989’s Project—Activation Earth, in
collaboration with Ernie Watts—in fact, Ernie Watts got top billing—and
Ted co-wrote the sort-of title track, “Activation”.
released three more studio albums, Aerial
View, High Contrast, and Held to the Light. Betwixt and between, Ted moonlighted
with Dave Constantino and appeared on the compilation
album, World of Contemporary Jazz
Groups. Other anthologies
on which he performs include The Best
of Spyro Grya: The First Ten Years and The Instrumental History of Jazz. Gamalon
issued one more album, 1998’s Live
at the Tralf, which is short for the Tralfamadore Café, a Buffalo hot spot. In 2002, they returned to the scene
of the crime to play a twentieth-anniversary concert.
Ted has split
his time in recent years between the club scene and the recording
has continued to remain a popular live act, performing at venues such as
The Central Park Grill and Club Evolution. In 2005, he appeared on John Valby’s CD, Valby Rocks. More live
dates followed in 2006, as did a pair of Willie May albums, Blue Decade and Category Six.
In 2007, Ted joined
The Legendary Jony James Band for several dates
as part of a two-drummer experiment, in tandem with Kent “Boom Boom” Leech.
He also made time to appear on The Dave Constantino
Band’s album, Bump in the Road,
with his brother Tom on bass.
In 2009, he hooked up with Rodney Appelby
and Joseph Michael Mahfoud on Echoes in Time. The balance of the year was spent on
stage at the Bear’s Den, CPG, and Nietzche’s.
he has worked with include the Accutones, Brainscan, Breast Milk, the Maelstrom Percussion
Ensemble, Riverdog Jazz, the Ron LoCurto Project and Rush Hour. Ted was also one of the instructors
at the First Annual Buffalo Niagara Drum Festival, at the Uptown Theater in
Buffalo, New York.
Spyro Gyra recordings
Morning Dance (Jay Beckenstein)