Thick-toned tenor Ike Quebec is in excellent form on this CD reissue of a 1961 Blue Note date. His ballad statements are quite warm, and he swings nicely on a variety of medium-tempo material. Unfortunately, organist Freddie Roach has a rather dated sound, which weakens this session a bit; bassist Milt Hinton and drummer Al Harewood are typically fine in support. Originals alternate with standards, with "Just One More Chance," "The Man I Love," and "Nature Boy" (the latter an emotional tenor-bass duet) being among the highlights.
Ike Quebec's 1961-1962 comeback albums for Blue Note were all pretty rewarding, but Blue and Sentimental is his signature statement of the bunch, a superbly sensuous blend of lusty blues swagger and achingly romantic ballads.
This was veteran tenor saxophonist Ike Quebec's final recording as a leader. It was cut in October 1962 and produced by Alfred Lion a little more than three months before the saxophonist's death. Bossa Nova Soul Samba was recorded and released during the bossa nova craze, as Brazilian music was first brought to the attention of pop listeners via Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd's smash hit with Tom Jobim's "Desafinado," on their Jazz Samba record for Verve in February. After that, seemingly everyone was making a bossa nova record. Quebec's effort is a bit unusual in that none of the musicians (guitarist Kenny Burrell, bassist Wendell Marshall, drummer Willie Bobo, and percussionist Garvin Masseaux) was associated with Brazilian (as opposed to Afro-Cuban) jazz before this, and that there isn't a single tune written by Jobim on the set.
Influenced by Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster but definitely his own person, Ike Quebec was one of the finest swing-oriented tenor saxmen of the 1940s and '50s. Though maybe not as innovative as some of his peers, Quebec had a big, breathy sound that was distinctive and made him a cornerstone of many a recording session. This 22 track compilation traces his career from 1944 to '46.
Soul Samba (aka Bossa Nova Soul Samba) is an album by American saxophonist Ike Quebec recorded in 1962 and released on the Blue Note label. It was Quebec's final recording before his death in January 1963. Though not as well known as giants Ben Webster and Don Byas, the late Ike Quebec was a major stylist whose specialty was the big-toned, cozy, breathy, romantic tenor saxophone. Quebec made a series of soul-jazz sessions for Blue Note, as well as this 1962 rarity on which he had a go at the au courant bossa nova sound. Accompanied by the burnished guitar of Kenny Burrell and the Latin spice of Willie Bobo, Quebec brings his emotive approach to the sly, cool expression that is bossa nova. The contrast is exhilarating, making for a pleasant surprise for fans of the Brazilian style as well as for Quebec fans accustomed to his usual bluesy groove. This 2007 remastered edition includes three alternate takes.
It Might as Well Be Spring is an album by American saxophonist Ike Quebec recorded in 1961 and released on the Blue Note label. The Allmusic review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine awarded the album 3½ stars and stated "Ike Quebec recorded another winning hard bop album with It Might As Well Be Spring. In many ways, the record is a companion piece to Heavy Soul. Since the two albums were recorded so close together, it's not surprising that there a number of stylistic similarities, but there are subtle differences to savor. The main distinction between the two dates is that It Might As Well Be Spring is a relaxed, romantic date composed of standards. It provides Quebec with ample opportunity to showcase his rich, lyrical ballad style, and he shines throughout the album".
During his comeback years (1959-62) after a decade mostly off the scene, tenor saxophonist Ike Quebec recorded frequently for Blue Note. He started off with a session aimed at the 45 jukebox market and, although he eventually made a few full-length albums for the label, Quebec cut four 45 dates over a two-and-a-half-year period. This double-disc set has all of the jukebox sessions. Most of the 26 selections clock in between four and seven minutes and have long melody statements in addition to concise and soulful solos. Quebec, who was in consistently prime form during his last period, is joined by groups featuring either Skeeter Best or Willie Jones on guitar and Edwin Swanston, Sir Charles Thompson, or Earl Van Dyke on organ. Fun, loose and highly enjoyable music.