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…
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.
The Strong Tenor is an appropriate title for this compilation capturing tenor saxophonist Ike Quebec from 1943 through 1946. This is the first era of Quebec's career as a leader, and featured soloist in bands led by Roy Eldridge, Jonah Jones, Cab Calloway, Hot Lips Page, Trummy Young, and Sammy Price. The album also includes his hit "Blue Harlem" recorded for Blue Note in 1944. Quebec would succumb to drug abuse in the '50s only to make a brief comeback in the early '60s as a leader on several Blue Note sessions.
Reissue with the latest 24bit remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. A sublime little set all the way through – an early 60s date from the west coast scene – and one that was almost as important to that side of the country as the Verve bossa records were to New York! Bud Shank's in the lead on alto sax – no flute at all this time around – blowing sharp and soulfully, in a way that's even more deft than most of his other albums! But the equal star here is the young Clare Fischer – who plays piano in the group, and also contributed a host of original tunes to the set – fresh numbers that are way different than the usual "bossa-ized" standards, or American remakes of Brazilian classics. Ralph Pena is a key member of the group on bass – and Larry Bunker plays some vibes as well. Titles include "Joao", "Pensativa", "Samba Guapo", "Samba Da Borboleta", and "Que Mais?".
In one of those fascinating twists that add to the magic of jazz, it was a mild-mannered, non-exotic. Virginia-born wizard of (primarily) the acoustic guitar who spearheaded the early-Sixties onslaught of bossa nova on the music scene of this country. Charlie Byrd, fascinated by this Brazilian music while on a South American tour, became its most ardent advocate here. He first joined with Stan Getz for a trend-setting LP and then moved on to his own big hit with this Riverside album, highlighted by the best-selling, with-strings version of Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Meditation."
Reissue with SHM-CD format and the latest 24bit remastering. Comes with a mini-description. An overlooked chapter in American bossa jazz of the 60s – recordings that weren't nearly as well-circulated as the Stan Getz bossa nova albums on Verve, but which have an equally special sort of sparkle! The arrangements here are by Manny Albam and Al Cohn – who both bring an earlier sense of large jazz charts into play with the tighter rhythms of the bossa – at a level that makes things explode nicely with a sense of color, while still keeping the groove light overall!
The Jazz Club series is an attractive addition to the Verve catalogue. With it's modern design and popular choice of repertoire, the Jazz Club is not only opened for Jazz fans, but for everyone that loves good music.
Reissue with SHM-CD format and the latest 24bit remastering. Comes with a mini-description. A great chapter in 60s bossa jazz – Zoot Sims "answer" to Stan Getz's bossa work on Verve – recorded in a similar jazz-meets-bossa style, with some great guitar work by Jim Hall! Zoot's solos are a bit tighter and not as laidback as Stan's – giving a more jazz-based sound to the work that makes for a nice change – and most of the tunes feature larger backings from Manny Albam and Al Cohn – never too over-arranged, but with enough of a full swinging sound to set things right. Hall's guitar works surprisingly well in the setting – and titles include "Barquinho De Papel", "Ciume", "Recado Bossa Nova (parts 1 & 2)", and "Cano Canoe".