Ed Bickert

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Ed Bickert
Bickert in 1989
Bickert in 1989
Background information
Birth nameEdward Isaac Bickert
Born(1932-11-29)November 29, 1932
Hochfeld, Manitoba, Canada
DiedFebruary 28, 2019(2019-02-28) (aged 86)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
LabelsSackville, Concord Jazz, PM, Unisson, Cornerstone
Associated actsMoe Koffman, Boss Brass, Lorne Lofsky

Edward Isaac Bickert, CM (November 29, 1932 – February 28, 2019) was a Canadian jazz guitarist.


A native of Hochfeld, Manitoba,[1] Bickert grew up in Vernon, British Columbia.[2] When he was eight years old, he started playing guitar.[1] He performed at country dances with his parents, who were musicians, his mother on piano, his father on fiddle.[2] This early exposure to country music can be clearly heard in his jazz language. During the early 1950s, Bickert worked as a radio engineer in Toronto.

Later, Bickert became a studio musician, recording as a sideman for Ron Collier,[3] Moe Koffman, Phil Nimmons, and Rob McConnell[1] and performed in a duo with Don Thompson and a trio with Thompson and Terry Clarke.[1] He worked with touring American jazz stars in Toronto including Ruby Braff, Paul Desmond, and Frank Rosolino.[1][4] After playing in Japan with Milt Jackson, he recorded with Oscar Peterson, then Buddy Tate. He went on tour during the 1980s with McConnell, Koffman, and Peter Appleyard.

Bickert signed with Concord and recorded with Ernestine Anderson, Benny Carter, Rosemary Clooney, Lorne Lofsky, Dave McKenna, Ken Peplowski, and Neil Swainson. Lofsky was a member of his quartet in the 1980s and 1990s.[1]

Awards and honors[edit]


Bickert worked with Rob McConnell, a Canadian band leader, jazz trombonist, composer, and arranger, from the 1960s to the 1990s, appearing on records with McConnell starting with 1969's Boss Brass and continuing through 1998's Big Band Christmas.

Bickert also had a shorter partnership with alto sax star Paul Desmond in the mid-1970s, at the end of Desmond's life. Desmond featured Bickert's playing on the 1974 studio album Pure Desmond, which brought Bickert's playing to the international jazz audience. The Desmond-Bickert "Canadian Quartet" (featuring bassist Don Thompson drummer Jerry Fuller) was recorded live in concert on several occasions, resulting in the albums The Paul Desmond Quartet - Live (A&M/Horizon), Paul Desmond (Artist House), Like Someone in Love (Telarc), and Edmonton Festival '76 (Gambit).

While Bickert was recording for Concord Records in the 1980s, he was featured on five studio albums by singer Rosemary Clooney.


As leader or co-leader[edit]

  • 1976 - Ed Bickert (PM)
  • 1976 - Out of the Past (Ed Bickert Trio studio session, first released in 2006) Sackville)
  • 1977 - I Like to Recognize the Tune
  • 1978 - Ed Bickert/Don Thompson - recorded live at The Garden Party (Sackville)
  • 1979 - Jazz Canada Europe '79 - Ed Bickert Trio; 1 LP in 4-LP boxed set (Radio Canada International) (reissued as part of The Guitar Mastery Of Ed Bickert (Unidisc, 1996)
  • 1979 - Days Gone By - Sonny Greenwich and Ed Bickert Quartet (first released in 2000) (Sackville)
  • 1980 - Dance to the Lady (credited to Don Thompson and Ed Bickert; features piano / guitar duets) (Sackville)
  • 1983 - At Toronto's Bourbon Street - The Ed Bickert 5 feat. Scott Hamilton and Warren Vaché (Concord Jazz)
  • 1984 - Bye Bye Baby - Ed Bickert Quartet featuring Dave McKenna (Concord Jazz)
  • 1984 - Mutual Street - duets with Rob McConnell (Innovation, reissued in 1993 by Jazz Alliance/Concord)
  • 1985 - I Wished On The Moon - Ed Bickert Quartet featuring Rick Wilkins (Concord Jazz)
  • 1985 - The Quartet of Ed Bickert and Lorne Lofsky and Friends (Unisson)
  • 1989 - Third Floor Richard - Ed Bickert Trio with special guest Dave McKenna (Concord Jazz)
  • 1990 - This is New - Ed Bickert Quartet featuring Lorne Lofsky (Concord Jazz)
  • 1994 - Trio Sketches - with Rob McConnell, Neil Swainson (Concord Jazz)
  • 1994 - Concord Duo Series Volume 7 - with Bill Mays (Concord Jazz)
  • 1997 - Three for the Road - with Rob McConnell, Don Thompson (Concord Jazz)
  • 1999 - Test of Time with Mike Murley (first released in 2012) (Cornerstone)
  • 2000 - Live at the Senator with Mike Murley (Cornerstone)
  • 2004 - At the Garden Party (reissue of 1978 album Ed Bickert/Don Thompson with four bonus tracks from Out of the Past) (Sackville)

Selected appearances as backing musician[edit]

  • 1975 - Live - Paul Desmond (A&M/Horizon)
  • 1978 - Paul Desmond - Paul Desmond (Artists House)
  • 1979 - Ruby Braff With The Ed Bickert Trio - Ruby Braff (Sackville)
  • 1983 - Rosemary Clooney Sings the Music of Harold Arlen - Rosemary Clooney (Concord)
  • 1984 - Rosemary Clooney Sings the Music of Irving Berlin- Rosemary Clooney (Concord)
  • 1985 - Rosemary Clooney Sings Ballads - Rosemary Clooney (Concord)
  • 1985 - A Gentleman and His Music - Benny Carter (Concord)
  • 1985 - With a Song in My Heart - Jane Hall with Ed Bickert (not released until 2017) (ArtistShare)
  • 1986 - Rosemary Clooney Sings the Music of Jimmy Van Heusen - Rosemary Clooney (Concord)
  • 1987 - Rosemary Clooney Sings the Lyrics of Johnny Mercer - Rosemary Clooney (Concord)
  • 1992 - Like Someone in Love - Paul Desmond (Telarc)


  1. ^ a b c d e f Kernfeld, Barry (2002). Kernfeld, Barry (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. 1 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries. p. 215. ISBN 1-56159-284-6.
  2. ^ a b c Hum, Peter (2 March 2019). "RIP, Ed Bickert | Ottawa Citizen". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Canadian Jazz Great and 'Musical Force' Ed Bickert Remembered By His Son". Billboard, 3/9/2019 by Karen Bliss
  4. ^ Cotterrell, Roger. ‘Ed Bickert, the Quiet Canadian’ Jazz Forum 65 (1980), 37-9.
  5. ^ "Search Awards". The JUNO Awards. Retrieved 15 January 2019.

External links[edit]