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Jazz - Released January 1, 2007 | EMI

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2007 | Blue Note Records

With his thick, engaging sound and elegant romanticism, it only made sense for Ike Quebec to try his hand at the bossa nova boom Stan Getz kick-started in 1962, and that's what he did with Soul Samba. However, Quebec makes the session much more than mere bandwagon-jumping. He takes some chances with the repertoire and consciously adds a heavy blues inflection that makes Soul Samba one of the more unique interpretations of the bossa nova style. It's also one of the more sensuous, thanks in part to the combination of Quebec's natural tendencies and the soft, light style itself, but even more so with the extra bit of meat added via the blues. The music is warm and danceable, yet with a late-evening hush that's more suggestive of winding down and getting cozy with someone. Quebec's choices of material are never obvious -- the Brazilian selections do not include any Jobim standards, for one thing, and both Quebec and guitarist Kenny Burrell (absolutely stellar in support) contribute original material that ranks among the album's best performances (particularly Quebec's "Blue Samba" and Burrell's "Loie"). What's more, Quebec adapts some unlikely sources -- the traditional standard "Liebestraum" and the Dvorak theme "Goin' Home" -- into surprisingly effective samba pieces. The whole project is thoughtfully conceived and beautifully executed, treating bossa nova as a new means of personal expression, not just a fad to be cashed in on. Sadly, Soul Samba was Quebec's final album, but at least his career ended on a high note. ~ Steve Huey
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1962 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1987 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2004 | Blue Note Records

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. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Blue Note Records

Working with the same quartet that cut Heavy Soul -- organist Freddie Roach, bassist Milt Hinton and drummer Al Harewood -- 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 comprised of standards. It provides Quebec with ample opportunity to showcase his rich, lyrical ballad style, and he shines throughout the album. Similarly, Roach has a tasteful, understated technique, whether he's soloing or providing support for Quebec. The pair have a terrific, sympathetic interplay that makes It Might As Well Be Spring a joyous listen. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2005 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1962 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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