Canadians Strum to a Different Drum

By Paul Wells, The Gazette, Montreal, Monday, October 22, 1990

ED BICKERT/LORNE LOFSKY – This is New (Concord)

Did somebody mention introverts? Hello, Ed Bickert. The so-cool dean of Canadian pickers, Bickert seems to be playing in his sleep. But his stripped-down melodicism and metholated charm show how aware he really is.

Lorne Lofsky, another Torontonian but rather younger, is a good match for Bickert. Lofsky’s playing is just a touch more modern than Bickert’s perpetual mis-50’s cool, his tone just a bit harder-edged.

Together, they ease through a bunch of standards (Namely You, The Star Crossed Lovers), neither rushing nor competing. Bassist Neil Swainson and drummer Jerry Fuller take the hint, and deliver more restrained accompaniment than we’re used to hearing from them.

It’s all very polite. Jazz for a Sunday afternoon with your favorite sweater and your dog. It’s also first-rate.