December 1998

Ike Quebec
It Might as Well Be Spring
Blue Note Records

This fine recording leans toward the bluesy side of the Blue Note '60s catalog, but there is nothing commercial in its approach. Ike Quebec possessed one of the best tenor sounds ever, and he is much more a swing than a modern player. He makes you think in terms of Lester, harmonically, and Don Byas, Coleman Hawkins, or Illinois Jacquet may come to mind briefly, but he really is himself. He transfixes the listener with his vast, sweeping tone and really talks to you, phrasing melodies like a great singer bent on delivering every word. I'm not enthusiastic about Freddie Roach's organ work, but Milt Hinton and Harewood (again) do a fine job. Truth to tell, Quebec brings so much focus to what he's doing he makes you forget the rest of the band.

Originally published in December 1998
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