May 28

Ike Quebec – Blue & Sentimental (1962/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 39:24 minutes | 1,45 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | ©  Blue Note Records
Recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on December 16, 1961 and December 23, 1961 (#6)

Joined by a quartet that includes Grant Green, Quebec makes every breath and sound count, playing seductive lines on the ballads and swinging forcefully on the hotter numbers. He only lived until 1963 (passing away when he was just 44), but, as Blue And Sentimental shows, Ike Quebec saved the very best for his later period, creating a masterpiece.

During the Blue Note 75th Anniversary celebration the label released 100 essential Blue Note LPs and asked New York times readers what titles they’d like to see make the list. This album was among five titles hand-selected for 2016 reissue by Blue Note President, Don Was, based on New York Times reader recommendations.
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. True, there’s no shortage of that on Quebec’s other Blue Note dates, but Blue and Sentimental is the most exquisitely perfected. Quebec was a master of mood and atmosphere, and the well-paced program here sustains his smoky, late-night magic with the greatest consistency of tone. Part of the reason is that Quebec’s caressing tenor sound is given a sparer backing than usual, with no pianist among the quartet of guitarist Grant Green, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones. It’s no surprise that Green solos with tremendous taste and elegance (the two also teamed up on Green’s similarly excellent Born to Be Blue), and there are plenty of open spaces in the ensemble for Quebec to shine through. His rendition of the Count Basie-associated title cut is a classic, and the other standard on the original LP, “Don’t Take Your Love from Me,” is in a similarly melancholy vein. Green contributes a classic-style blues in “Blues for Charlie,” and Quebec’s two originals, “Minor Impulse” and “Like,” have more complex chord changes but swing low and easy. Through it all, Quebec remains the quintessential seducer, striking just the right balance between sophistication and earthiness, confidence and vulnerability, joy and longing. It’s enough to make Blue and Sentimental a quiet, sorely underrated masterpiece. ~~AllMusic Review by Steve Huey

1 Blue And Sentimental 7:25
2 Minor Impulse 6:31
3 Don’t Take Your Love From Me 7:00
4 Blues For Charlie 6:45
5 Like 5:18
6 Count Every Star 6:16

Ike Quebec, tenor sax
Grant Green, guitar
Paul Chambers (#1-5), Sam Jones (#6), bass
Louis Hayes (#6), Philly Joe Jones (#1-5), drums
Sonny Clark, piano (#6)