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At the Garden Party

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Album Review

The first seven selections on this CD reissue a 1978 duet concert featuring the quiet guitarist Ed Bickert and bassist Don Thompson. A little reminiscent of a famous Jim Hall/Ron Carter collaboration, the music alternates introspective ballads with a couple romps, including a brisk "What Is This Thing Called Love." Bickert's playing is both swinging and sophisticated, often utilizing reharmonized chords, while Thompson functions as an equal partner. The final four selections are from a previously unreleased 1976 studio set with drummer Terry Clarke making the group a quintet. For unknown reasons this session was never completed, but the music is on the same high level as the live duet performance. In fact, the subtle drumming makes it easier for the group to swing harder, with Hoagy Carmichael's "One Morning in May" being a highlight. Recommended.

Biography

Born: November 29, 1932 in Hochfeld, Manitoba, Canada

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Ed Bickert, a cool-toned guitarist with a bop-ish style, has been a fixture in Toronto since the 1950s. While he played steadily in the studios from 1956 on, and had associations with Moe Koffman and (more importantly) Rob McConnell, it was not until he performed and recorded with Paul Desmond during 1974-1975 that Ed Bickert received much recognition in the U.S. He went on to be featured on records with Rob McConnell's...
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At the Garden Party, Ed Bickert
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