Poor was born in Rochester, New York in 1961. After graduating from the Eastman School of Music in 2003, he moved from his hometown to New York City, where he cut and released his debut, All Around. He quickly made a deep impression on the city's jazz and indie rock music communities. It was on the New York scene that he established himself as an improvising colorist and stylist rather than just a rock-solid timekeeper.
After relocating to Seattle in 2010, Poor joined the band of Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter/violinist Andrew Bird. He appeared on the albums Are You Serious and My Finest Work Yet, and is Bird's touring drummer. Their association gained Poor a foothold in the indie scene, and he became a staple of the Los Angeles music community.
Since he began working with Bird, Poor has collaborated with producers and artists including Mitchell Froom, Blake Mills, Tony Berg, and Madison Cunningham, and he appeared on Cunningham's Who Are You Now.
When not teaching, Poor also performs regularly on the live radio broadcast of Live from Here with Chris Thile on National Public Radio. In 2016, Poor, bassist Matt Penman, and clarinetist Joris Roelofs issued Amateur Dentist on Pirouette. A year later, he worked in the Cuong Vu 4-Tet for Ballet: The Music of Michael Gibbs on RareNoise.
In the fall of 2018, Ted signed with Mills' record label New Deal through Universal. For a few days in mid-March 2019, he and producer Mills hunkered down at Sound City in Los Angeles to put the finishing touches on a collaboration between Poor and saxophonist Andrew D’Angelo; it originally began as a collection of duets in New York the previous year. In addition to sax and drum duets, there are ghost traces of reverb, piano, and other ambient instruments in several pieces. The finished album, You Already Know, was released as a joint venture between New Deal and the legendary Impulse! label during the winter of 2020. ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi
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