Ike Quebec: Blue and Sentimental


Blue and Sentimental


Ike Quebec (tenor sax)


Blue and Sentimental (Blue Note 93184)

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Ike Quebec (tenor sax), Grant Green (guitar), Paul Chambers (bass), Philly Joe Jones (drums).

Composed by Count Basie, Jerry Livingston, and Mack David


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Dec. 16, 1961


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

One aspect of Ike Quebec's playing that was conveyed so eloquently on his "comeback" Blue Note albums of the early '60's was his expressive "boudoir tenor" ballad treatments, an instrumental equivalent, if you will, of the style of singing that Billy Eckstine utilized in the '40's to keep the girls swooning in the aisles. Guitarist Tiny Grimes had ably assisted Quebec on his first round of Blue Note recordings in the '40's; now, in 1961, Quebec was matched with the up-and-coming Grant Green for his own Blue and Sentimental date and on Green's Born to Be Blue. If not for Quebec's untimely death from lung cancer in 1963 at the age of 44, surely Blue Note (for which Quebec also did influential A&R work) would have continued to pair his tenor with Green's guitar.

The title track, "Blue and Sentimental," is a definitive example of Quebec's sexy ballad creations. Quebec's velvety, fluttering evocation of the theme is tenderly apt. In his solo you can clearly discern Quebec's two self-admitted major influences, Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster, but to his credit they've been successfully assimilated into a personally assured approach all his own. Green's following solo is actually longer than the leader's, and is played with a noticeably lighter tone than would be heard from him in the years to come. His always melodic, blues-inflected, and concise phrases hold one's interest despite threatening to veer into repetition, as his subtle, surprising, and clever variations unfailingly prevent that from happening. Quebec reenters with the famous Count Basie vamp from Hershel Evans' original 1938 feature, before bearing down on the melody in mellifluous fashion once again, right down to a sensuously caressing coda.

Reviewer: Scott Albin

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