Ted Milton once described himself as "a tone-deaf musician" and at the end of a sax-part during a Blurt gig in Antwerp he proclaimed with a broad smile: "Oh, why don't I just take some lessons?"
All this to say Ted doesn't see himself as a groundbreaking nor virtuoso saxplayer. However, when in good form his instrument becomes an extension of his body and wonderful sonic landscapes enfold.
His sound can be bluesy and sensual in the lower register while in the upper register he is perfectly capable of imitating the mating call of the elephant. He loves the overtones and his fingering positions have more in common with Thelonious Monk's piano playing style than with your average saxplayer. Traditional melody is not something he seems to be interested in much as he tends to prefer short riffs and flurries of cries and yelps, to great emotional effect though
His feel for rhythm is wat really sets him apart from other players. Like his dance steps on stage, his rhytmic patterns are very much his own, stuttering and square, leaping like a lizard.
At first he did want to take some lessons but was told:
"I can't teach you anything, because you already have too strong an idea of where you want to go."
Ted Milton took upon these words and went on his own journey, developing his unique style. The biggest compliment he probably ever got came from Don Cherry, who upon seeing Blurt told Ted it reminded him of the old days with the Ornette Coleman Quartet.
Despite his sometimes rather low self-esteem as a saxplayer, Ted has been invited as a guest musician by a.o. Trevor Jackson's Playgroup, Wire, Dream City Filmclub, Buscemi, Jean-Francois Pauvros and more recently Les Bampots from France, the dutch Beukorkest and another ensemble with Rik Van Iersel at Free Noise Festival in Leuven, Belgium.