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Ed Lincoln

A Brazilian musician, composer and arranger known for a wide variety of styles.

As a bassist, he was present at the earliest moments of bossa nova and as a Hammond organ player, he was foundational in establishing the sound of Brazilian jazz and space age pop.

His most widely-heard compositions include O Ganso (Ed Lincoln and D'Orlann), É o Cid (Ed Lincoln and Sílvio César), Palladium (Ed Lincoln and Orlandivo) and Ai que Saudade Dessa Nega. His most successful arrangements include O Bêbado (Durval Ferreira and Orlandivo), Na Onda do Berimbau (Oswaldo Nunes), Romantic Partners (Nilo Sérgio) and The Blues Walk, the latter in collaboration with American trumpeter Clifford Brown.

He began learning popular songs such as Ary Barroso's Aquarela do Brasil. Playing piano at age 16, Lincoln formed a trio with a cousin and a friend, and performed on a weekly program on Radio Iracema. Lincoln was at the same time the sports editor for the newspaper Diário do Povo.

Lincoln's early influences included jazz performances by Shorty Rogers, Gerry Mulligan, J. J. Johnson & Kai Winding, and Chet Baker; artists whose recordings he heard played on the hi-fi systems belonging to the parents of his rich friends.

At 18, Lincoln left Ceará for Rio de Janeiro to study architecture. There, Lincoln began performing on piano each midday for Radio Roquette Pinto, where he met and formed friendships with a variety of musicians including Luizinho Eça, Johnny Alf, Geraldo Vandré, Sergio Ricardo, Juquinha (bossa nova drummer), Dick Farney and Tom Jobim.

Lincoln pestered the radio station engineers to play him all the newest North American jazz discs, and formed an early appreciation for the work of Oscar Peterson.

Lincoln agreed to form a combo with Luiz Eça and Johnny Alf, even though they asked him to play double bass, an instrument he had never touched.

After the new trio signed a contract with the Plaza Bar at the Plaza Hotel in Rio, Lincoln used his share of the advance money to buy a bass, learning it in one week. The trio was a success.

After some time, Lincoln began to gain notability as a talented young bassist at jam sessions, and recorded with Trio Plaza, Maestro Radamés Gnattali Quintet and took part in the first bossa nova recording produced by Aloisio de Oliveira.

Lincoln reformed the trio with himself on piano, Baden Powell on guitar and Luiz Marinho on bass: the Hotel Plaza Trio.

The trio included a fourth musician, singer Claudette Soares, billed as the "Princess of the Baiao". Lincoln saw further success with this group, and continued to participate in after-hours jam sessions around town, making friends with Sylvia Telles, Carlos Lyra, Miele & Bôscoli, Garoto, João Donato, João Gilberto, Tom Jobim, Milton Banana and even Ary Barroso.

On November 2, 1958, Lincoln recorded an album for Helium, a small record label. The owner of Helium decided that 'Eduardo Lincoln' wasn't commercial enough as a name, and released the album as Ao Teu Ouvido (In Your Ear) by Ed Lincoln.

The album was re-released at various times under other titles including Boite, Impacto and Ontem Hoje e Sempre.

20-year-old Eumir Deodato filled in for Lincoln in 1963 when a car accident put Lincoln in recovery for seven months.

In 1968, Lincoln formed his own record label: De Savoya Discos, releasing a self-titled album with liner notes on the back explaining that the 12 songs were in 12 styles that were very different from each other to show the artist's facility as a performer and composer.

He formed the "DeSavoya Combo" and began producing albums and arranging songs for other artists, including Elza Soares in the 1970s.

Several albums have been recorded in Rio at Lincoln's "Studio Ed Lincoln", including one by Marvio Ciribelle called Era só o que Faltava in 1993. Lincoln occasionally accepts recording dates, and appeared playing organ on one track, Conversa Mole, on an Ed Motta album released in 2000.

Ed Lincoln died on July 16, 2012, in Rio de Janeiro. Lincoln was 80 years old and he died of respiratory failure.

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