BWW Review: DARRIAN FORD Is A Joyful Entertainer At Birdland Theater
When Darrian Ford performs, it's a party. He's a great performer who plays to the crowd, capitalizing on what they enjoy and delivering song after song that are just pure enjoyment.
A highlight of the tunes he performed last Tuesday at Birdland was "Acorns," a touching song about children and how they are special on their own, apart from the adults in their lives and anything they may or may not be able to add.
Most of the numbers Ford performed were from his first full-length album, NEW STANDARDS, which is almost entirely comprised of original songs written by the jazz vocalist. He described the songwriting process by saying the songs came "through me, not to me." Even now, he said, he feels like someone else wrote the album.
An extremely touching song on the setlist was "Fatherless Son," which he shared a little about before singing. Ford explained he grew up without a father, and that although he thought he'd come to terms with it when his father died two months ago, he realized - there were still things he had to deal with.
The beauty of this song, like so many others which he performed, is knowing they're original. The words almost mean more, knowing as we do that they come from Ford's own heart, that he's singing them so passionately because they mean something to him in the truest of senses.
Alyson Williams was a surprise guest, singing "Lovely Day" with Ford. The two artists are a dream combination, their voices rising and mixing in beautiful harmony. There was nothing not to love about Williams' addition to the show.
Toward the end of the evening, Ford re-introduced his band in greater detail, and each member was given a chance to shine, playing something of a solo, to the great delight of the audience.
The whole show was short, lasting probably less than an hour, but you could tell each song was deliberately chosen and it was a pleasure to be witness to.
Mr. Ford's cd can be purchased at his website, where you can learn all about him and his work, including his social media handles: Darrian Ford Website
Read an interview with Darrian Ford conducted by Broadwayworld's Stephen Mosher: