Tad Weed, Solo
very soon became one of the top musicians in our area.
To most local jazz listeners, Weed is mostly known as a versatile, sensitive pianist who plays in many contexts, including his own trios. But Weed is not only an instrumentalist; he is a fully trained and experienced musician who composes, arranges, teaches, and functions as musical director for singers and other performers. Some of the greatest pianist-arranger/composers in modern jazz have had to make do with limited technical skills, even if they developed interesting personal voices. Tadd Dameron and Gil Evans, for example, played what has traditionally been called "arrangers' piano." Weed, however, combines writing skills with a prodigious piano technique that seems to have no limits whatsoever. He's in great demand because he can play anything, be it classical sonatas, swing standards, bebop, or the most far-out experimental jazz.
Such versatility can be deadening, the musician's equivalent of selling one's soul to the devil. Weed, however, seems to derive creative inspiration from his encyclopedic musical knowledge, and while he blends into his surroundings like a true professional when required, he somehow manages to maintain a personal creative core that is uniquely identifiable. In all the years I have been listening to him I have never heard him coast; he is always deeply involved with his music, no matter the environment.