Charlie Biddle

Jazz musician

Charlie Biddle, a leading figure in the Montreal jazz scene in the 1950s and ’60s who played bass with Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker, died Feb. 4 after a battle with cancer. He was 76.

Biddle was a native of Philadelphia who moved to Canada in 1948. Over the next five decades, the World War II veteran and former car salesman became synonymous with jazz in Montreal. (He became a Canadian citizen in 2000.)

Biddle opened a club, Uncle Charlie’s Jazz Joint, in suburban Ste-Therese in 1958. He later performed in such legendary local nightspots as the Black Bottom and the Penthouse, where he worked with the likes of Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Parker and Lionel Hampton. He also played smaller Quebec cities with the group Three Jacks and a Jill.

Until recently, Biddle played four nights a week at Biddle’s Jazz and Ribs, a Montreal landmark for nearly 25 years. Coincidentally, the club closed Feb. 4 for planned renovations, which include erecting a wall of fame to honor Biddle and others who have played at the club.

In 1979, he organized a three-day fest that some say paved the way for the renowned Montreal Intl. Jazz Festival.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety

Loading