He was a favourite of guitarists, musicians, and just plain music fans in the know. Master musician Ed Bickert passed away several days ago, announced in a statement as understated and self effacing as the man himself. I was a huge fan of his music, and loved his approach as demonstrated here on "Easy To Love". ( Standard tunes were Ed's canvas )
Note also the fantastic empathy and support both Don Thompson ( Bass ) and Claude Ranger ( drums) provide.
I was fortunate to work and spend time with Ed when I joined the Boss Brass in the early '90s and was always blown away by the richness of his knowledge of harmony, the economy he played with ( which frequently caused me to question the meaning behind things I did or didn't play ) and his dry wit and gentle manner. Ed didn't say a lot, but everything he did say was deep in either a thoughtful or funny way, and was frequently both at once.
Here's a cut from the album he made with fellow Canadian guitarist Lorne Lofsky. The great rhythm section on this is Neil Swainson and another great I miss a lot, drummer Jerry Fuller.
As great as it was playing with Ed in a big band, it's a great regret of mine that I never played trio with him. I always felt like Ed was like a friend I only saw when I was inebriated and screaming at him!!!
He was also very true to what he was musically, as demonstrated in this excerpt from an interview he gave.
Like all great musicians, Ed created a sound and atmosphere around him every time he played. Other musicians always played quieter, listened harder, and generally upped their game, just by his example.
There will never be another like him.
Thank you Ed, for the inspiration and all the music.