Ike Quebec at Dodo Greene’s My Hour of Need session, Englewood Cliffs NJ, April 2 1962 (photo by Francis Wolff)
Sonny Clark and Ike Quebec during Clark’s Leapin’ and Lopin’ session, Englewood Cliffs NJ, November 1961 (photo by Francis Wolff)
Ike Quebec - Congo Lament (1962)
There are certain Blue Note sessions—Mobley’s The Turnaround and Dexter Gordon’s Go come to mind—that positively simmer with sympathy and virtuosity, where everyone present has switched themselves firmly into the “on” position. This recording is no exception, despite the fact that this sequence of tunes first saw the light of day in 1987, 25 years after they were recorded.
What makes this date truly special is the rhythm section of Art Blakey, Sonny Clark and Milt Hinton, who anchor the changing time signatures of this Bennie Green composition until it positively glows with swing. Spurred on by the grinding rhythms, Ike Quebec, Bennie Green, and especially a young Stanley Turrentine float memorable solos above the beat. All in all, Easy Living deserves wider recognition for being a sparkling gem of an underrated LP, and easily one of Quebec’s greatest achievements as a leader.
Bennie Green and Stanley Turrentine during the recording of Ike Quebec’s Easy Living session, Englewood Cliffs NJ, January 20 1962 (photos by Francis Wolff)
Freddie Hubbard - But Beautiful (1960)
From the Hardbop Homepage tribute to Tina Brooks:
It was Ike Quebec who introduced him to Freddie Hubbard. “Ike Quebec introduced me to Tina at the 845 Club. Ike also introduced me to Alfred Lion. I loved Tina. He had a nice feeling. I got into him before I got into Hank (Mobley). He would write shit out on the spot and it would be beautiful. He wrote “Gypsy Blue” for me on the first record and I loved it. I just loved it. Tina made my first record date wonderful. He wrote and played beautifully. What a soulful, inspiring cat. I loved him.”
Freddie’s session took place on June 19, 1960. And Tina did play beautifully. He also wrote “Open Sesame” and “Gypsy Blue” and arranged “But Beautiful.” Exactly one week later, Tina made his second album True Blue and Freddie Hubbard was the trumpeter. Both albums were released that fall.
Tina Brooks was a shooting star in the jazz night sky who burned out way too soon. Catch him blowing one of the all-time great tenor sax solos on his composition “Street Singer,” which appears on Jackie McLean’s Jackie’s Bag.
Ike Quebec - Nancy (With the Laughing Face) (1962)
From Michael Cuscuna’s liner notes:
The February 28, 1963 issue of Down Beat headlined its news section “Two great losses within four days: Two Jazzmen Die in New York City.” On January 13, Sonny Clark died; the official reason given was a heart attack. January 16, Ike Quebec died after five weeks in the hospital where he was being treated for cancer. Quebec was 44, Clark was 31, and the music on this album was a few days short of a year old.
Ike Quebec performs his languid magic here with the help of a very special rhythm section (Sonny Clark, Milt Hinton, Art Blakey) with predictably satisfying results.
Ike Quebec during his Heavy Soul session, Englewood Cliffs NJ, November 26 1961 (photo by Francis Wolff)
Ike Quebec - How Long Has This Been Going On? (1962)
Originally released in Japan in 1980 on vinyl, this session is also included as part of Ike Quebec’s Complete Blue Note 45 Sessions disc.
Swing swang swingin’.
Duke Pearson - For All We Know (1960)
From the liners:
The June 1960 Duke Pearson session did not produce spectacular music, but it is interesting in two respects. We get to hear Blue Note’s present (Ike Quebec) and future (Duke) A & R men playing together, and we hear the Israel Crosby/Vernell Fournier team that had contributed so much to Ahmad Jamal’s trio and George Shearing’s group in a new context. A young, precocious Crosby had first recorded for Blue Note with Edmond Hall, Meade Lux Lewis and Charlie Christian in 1941. — Michael Cuscuna
This could not sound better.
Ike Quebec - Blues for Charlie (1961)
Quebec doubles on piano and sax in this down-home Grant Green blues written for Charlie Christian, one of Green’s primary influences. All the necessary ingredients are lined up, including the incredible Philly Joe Jones and Paul Chambers underpinning the deliciously bluesy proceedings.
Grant Green - Hey There (1962)
There’s a couple gem bonus tracks on the CD re-release of The Latin Bit—a concept album that falls slightly short of Green’s best recordings—featuring guest appearances from two of my favorites: Sonny Clark and Ike Quebec. Unfortunately, they both died within three days of each other less than four months after this date. :-(
Dear jazz people,
Question: Anyone ever seen the above record in a store or heard (of) this record?
If you have, pray tell.