IKE QUEBEC — Blue and Sentimental (review)

IKE QUEBEC — Blue and Sentimental album cover Album · 1962 · Swing Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Ike Quebec was known as a great player on Tenor Saxophone but started originally playing piano and dancing. Ike was also known as Blue Note's talent scout, artist liason and even arranging at the label. He had been fairly quiet throughout the fifties after playing with some big names in the Jazz world throughout the 1940's with the likes of "Hot Lips Page", Roy Eldridge"","Trummy Young", "Ella Fitzgerald", "Benny Carter" and even with fellow tenor "Coleman Hawkins" but renewed his career with Blue Note records with a series of albums from 1959 to 1962. Ike was afflicted with lung cancer and passed away in January 1963 which upset Alfred Lion to say the least as both men had become very good friends over the years. Ike would only cut seven more sessions before his death after "Blue and Sentimental" which was recorded in December 1961. Ike, himself is on tenor saxophone and piano, Grant Green, guitar; Paul Chambers, bass and the ever reliable Philly Joe Jones on drums."Blue and Sentimental would be regarded as Ike's top album for Blue Note with some superb playing by Ike on tenor but another reason also is the addition of Grant Green with his guitar replacing organ which was used on the previous release 'It might as Well be Spring" giving the album a much more late night blues ingredient.

The title track "Blue and Sentimental" is led in with Grant Green's guitar and Ike's big tenor sound comes in on this beautifully played ballad. Like Dextor Gordon ballads were Ike's bread and butter and could he play them. Grant Green provides a great laid back solo when his turn arrives. It is not often one hears Philly Joe play with such great restraint on his kit which he does in this opener but that changes when the next is on,"Minor Impulse" an Ike composition and more up tempo with swing just emnating from Ike in his solo and his authoritive tone is superb. Grant Green at the time of this recording was still new with this being his best period and his solo here starts great but I always felt it went a bit quiet towards the end. Another gob smacking ballad by Ike comes along " Don't Take Your Love From Me". Space and beautiful blowing by Ike on his tenor is the structure with Grant laying one great slow picked guitar when his turn comes along." Blues For Charlie" written by Grant Green is one slow groover with Grant opening and Ike lays one great one down as well.'Like" would be the most up tempo tune and kept the album from becoming to dowdy with too many ballads as this can be a fine line between a great laid back album and a not so great one but to Ike's credit he kept this one from that fate. The last track on the original issue was recorded a week later at a Grant Green session and is "Count Every Star" with a different line up used. What seems a little out of norm with this is Ike cut another two tunes on the session for this album, " That Old Black Magic" and "It's All Right With Me" but Alfred Lion did use them on the album and decided instead to use the later from Grant's session. "That Old Black Magic is the pick of the two for me and both are here as bonus tracks. Although he never went into new ground with his jazz, Ike could hold his own as a great player and if you are after a ballad Ike is your man. Late at Night with your latest love curled up next to you might be the best time as long as she does not talk all the way through it.
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