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Ed Bickert, RIP


sgcim
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This one really hurts. I'm sure Ted is involved in the funeral proceedings. My favorite guitarist, and probably the epitome of what a jazz guitarist should be doing just passed 2/28.

No words can express my admiration for the man and the music he made. RIP, Ed...

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Sad day.  One of the good guys, one of the great players.  Over the last (at least) 50 years, a musician I heard at least as often as any other, live or recorded.

Toronto photographer (and occasional singer) Pat LaCroix and I published a limited-edition book last year Toronto Jazz Treasures, presenting Pat's portraits of one hundred of the city's great jazz players, accompanied by my mini-bios and an overview.  Pat has agreed to allow me to present the picture of Ed, and I'll do so if I can figure out how to get it on here...

 

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15 minutes ago, gmonahan said:

He did some lovely work with Paul Desmond and Frank Rosolino late in their careers. A wonderful guitarist. RIP.

 

 

gregmo

True, but he did lovely work with EVERYbody.  Ed was sort of a sideman-superstar.  He really didn't like being the centre of attention -- didn't have that Leader personality, but boy, did he have the chops.  And a wry, quiet sense of humor:  I recorded Ed with Lee Konitz around 1983, and a year or so back found it on a shelf and passed it on to Ed.  He looked at the song list (Indian Summer, My Old Flame, Sometime Ago...and Invitation).  With a Bickertian eyebrow raise (prodigious brows, BTW) he mused "Should have been Intonation."

Oh, just remembered, the homegrown Canadian Grammy awards are called the Junos.  One year Ed was on four of the five records nominated for Best Of The Year.  When I remarked on that, his response was simple:  "That's me -- Ed Biquitous."  

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10 hours ago, Ted O'Reilly said:

True, but he did lovely work with EVERYbody.  Ed was sort of a sideman-superstar.  He really didn't like being the centre of attention -- didn't have that Leader personality, but boy, did he have the chops.  And a wry, quiet sense of humor:  I recorded Ed with Lee Konitz around 1983, and a year or so back found it on a shelf and passed it on to Ed.  He looked at the song list (Indian Summer, My Old Flame, Sometime Ago...and Invitation).  With a Bickertian eyebrow raise (prodigious brows, BTW) he mused "Should have been Intonation."

Oh, just remembered, the homegrown Canadian Grammy awards are called the Junos.  One year Ed was on four of the five records nominated for Best Of The Year.  When I remarked on that, his response was simple:  "That's me -- Ed Biquitous."  

Thnx for sharing ....

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3 hours ago, Dave James said:

With all due respect to a great and under-appreciated player, my initial reaction to seeing this picture was this.  A road-worn musician with his road-worn Telecaster. 

Hmmm....road-worn guitar, yes.  Ed certainly aged (don't we all!), but not road-worn.  He rarely left town, and that's why he was never as widely known as he should have been.  He turned down LOTS of opportunities to play with famous international bands and leaders, but had a lovely wife, four kids and a nice house in the suburbs with a garden he worked, and a pool for the kids.  He was the A-list guy in the then-busy Toronto studios, so why take the strain?

Also, I wonder if "under-appreciated" is quite the way to put it.  Under-recognized for sure, but anyone with ears certainly appreciated him, once heard.

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11 hours ago, Dave James said:

With all due respect to a great and under-appreciated player, my initial reaction to seeing this picture was this.  A road-worn musician with his road-worn Telecaster. 

I couldn't believe it, but I read once that Ed used to just take his Telecaster and throw it in the trunk of the guitar, WITHOUT a case! From looking at that picture of it, that story may be true!

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3 hours ago, sgcim said:

I couldn't believe it, but I read once that Ed used to just take his Telecaster and throw it in the trunk of the guitar, WITHOUT a case! From looking at that picture of it, that story may be true!

Nope, never saw that.  He had a case that had some of those little stick-on letters, marking it as EIB.  (Edward Isaac Bickert).  I had occasion to carry it a few times.  Given how careful and meticulous he was regarding his strings, and his tuning, it's unlikely the instrument was abused, just used.  And used.  And used....once he started with the Telecaster it was pretty much all he ever played.

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17 hours ago, Dave James said:

With all due respect to a great and under-appreciated player, my initial reaction to seeing this picture was this.  A road-worn musician with his road-worn Telecaster. 

To me this telling picture documents an artist who has seen it all ...

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It's remarkable that he had been retired since before I started getting into jazz in 2002 or 2003.  While the jazz nerd in me wishes that he had stayed active and that I could've somehow seen him perform, the other part of me is glad that he was able to retire on his own terms and enjoy such a long retirement.  Thank you for the music, Mr. Bickert, and rest in peace.

 

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