Ed Bickert is an influence and a musical inspiration and I first discovered him when I was enrolled in my first year of post secondary music study at Mount Royal College in Calgary. First of all, Ed Bickert played a Telecaster rather than the usual hollow body, which fascinated me as I was still a teenager and heavily influenced by rock guitar players.
I was playing a Strat and had just bought a Tele, so I was a fan already. Once I heard his comping chordal ideas, he became a lifelong inspiration to learn more chord voicings!
Ed Bickert has such a beautiful way of playing chords and melody and he is definitely one of the hippest players I have ever heard. His rounded tone and soft touch can sometimes be deceiving and mask his inventiveness on the initial listen. However, with a closer listen, you will be blown away by the complexity of his approach. The same thing happens with pianist Bill Evans. Ed also plays with a combination of fingers and pick which I definitely stole from him and I have been playing that way ever since.
Ed didn't get the same international recognition as Jim Hall, Herb Ellis, Tal Farlow, Joe Pass or Barney Kessell, but he was satisfied to play mostly in Canada. People in the know, certainly rank Ed Bickert up alongside everyone of the previously mentioned guys.
Funny story about Ed regarding his music set up. Most players are pretty savvy at describing what amp they are using and what guitars they play and basically how they get their sound, but not Ed. When asked about how he gets his sound from his amp he responded "I just look for the sounds like shit knob and turn it down". Awesome response!
Ed Bickert is from Toronto and I have had the pleasure of talking to him on many occasions over the years and even hanging out at his house while my daughters swam in his pool. Great guy and fantastic guitarist.
That's all for now.