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Ed Lincoln built a reputation as a first-rate jazz bass in the early period of bossa nova. As a solo artist, he dedicated his discography and live performances ahead of his own group to dance music in various styles. He also accompanied many important acts like Baden Powell, Claudette Soares, and Ed Motta. His work was discovered by English DJs and made success in the '90s in that country. His biggest hits as composer/interpreter were "Quero Amar" (with Durval Ferreira), "O Ganso" (with D'Orlann), "O Bêbado" (Durval Ferreira/Orlandivo), "Confissão" (Luís Bandeira), "É O Cid" (with Sílvio Cesar), "Palladium" (with Orlandivo), "Na Onda Do Berimbau" (Oswaldo Nunes), and "Ai Que Saudade Dessa Nega." His interpretation for "Jogaram o Caxangá" was included in the compilation CD Samba Soul 70! - Rare Groove Party (Ziriguiboom/Crammed, 2001). His arrangement for "The Blueswalk" (Clifford Brown) became a Carnival hit.
He was already a pianist as a child, but his first job was in a newspaper, writing on Carnival and sports in the Jornal do Povo in his hometown. Moving to Rio in 1951, he worked as a bureaucrat until he met Johnny Alf, Luís Eça, and Sérgio Ricardo at the Rádio Roquette Pinto. He became a renowned jazz bassist and was invited by Dick Farney to join his group in 1953. In the same period, he appeared in several films as conductor. With pianist Luís Eça and violonista (acoustic guitarist) Paulo Ney, he played in the Hotel Plaza, the most important venue for the inception of bossa nova and the meeting point of the jazz musicians. With them, he recorded the LP Trio Plaza. In the '50s, he also accompanied Claudette Soares, Baden Powell, and Dolores Durán. In 1958, he became the pianist of Djalma Ferreira's group, at Djalma's Drink nightclub. After Ferreira's shooting, he had to replace him at the organ, adopting the instrument, with which he would record many solo albums. In the early '60s, he recorded the first solo album, Ao Teu Ouvido (Helium), using the name Ed Lincoln for the first time. It was a phase of great success and he and his group livened up many parties and recorded several albums.
In 1963 he was in a car accident and in the seven months that he had to rest, he was replaced at the head of his group by the young Eumir Deodato. The trumpeter Cláudio Roditi also joined his band in 1968. In the same period, he organized an independent label, Savoya Discos, and became a producer, revealing groups like the Os Lobos (the group which revealed Dalto). After some months spent in 1970 in the U.S., Lincoln returned to Brazil and built his own recording studio, with which works until today, releasing easy listening albums produced by him alone at the computer under various pseudonyms like Orquestra Romance Tropical, Gloria Benson, Orquestra Los Angeles, and others. In the '90s, his old out-of-print vinyl recordings with songs like "Cochise" and "Se Você Quiser" were pirated by English DJs and made success in the dance tracks of that country. Lincoln also played in "Conversa Mole," which was included in Ed Motta's album As Segundas Intenções.