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Blue Note Classic Vinyl Reissue Series All-Analog 180g Vinyl LP Mastered by Kevin Gray Directly from the Original Master Tapes and Manufactured at Optimal in Germany
The Classic Vinyl Reissue Series is the continuation of Blue Note’s acclaimed Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series, which was created in celebration of the 80th anniversary of Blue Note Records in 2019. The series presents affordable, high-quality reissues in standard packaging that are mastered by Kevin Gray of Cohearent Audio and manufactured on 180g vinyl at Optimal Media in Germany. The pressings are all-analog whenever an analog source is available, with Gray mastering directly from the original master tapes.
Blue Note Records has recorded the legends of Jazz and has traced the entire evolution of the music from the early days of Boogie Woogie, Hot Jazz and Swing, through the innovations of Bebop, Hard Bop, Post-Bop, Soul Jazz, Avant-Garde, and 70s Fusion, and into the vibrant sounds of Jazz’s many modern-day incarnations. The Classic Vinyl Series is curated by Don Was and Cem Kurosman and is broad in its scope. The series reissues the best-known Blue Note classics from the 1950s and 60s, but also goes deeper, exploring the many different eras and styles of the legendary label’s eight-decade history with the aim of telling their story and fully representing the Blue Note motto: The Finest In Jazz Since 1939.
There may not be a more apropos album title in all of recorded music than tenor saxophonist Ike Quebec’s 1961 classic Heavy Soul. The session marked a comeback for a crucial player in Blue Note history. Quebec had recorded a series of 78s for Alfred Lion in the 1940s and also served as a talent scout who encouraged Lion to record important figures of the emerging bebop scene including Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell. After a difficult period through the 1950s, Lion began to reintroduce Quebec’s music to jazz fans in 1959 with a series of 45 jukebox singles that were well received and inspired Lion to put the saxophonist back into the studio for a full album session.
So, in November 1961 Quebec brought a 4-piece band into Van Gelder Studio that included Freddie Roach on organ, Milt Hinton on bass, and Al Harewood on drums. The resulting 8-song set is a soul jazz masterclass with Quebec’s robust tenor conjuring a variety of moods from the rhythmic drive of swinging originals like “Acquitted” and “Que’s Dilemma” to slow-tempo stunners including “Just One More Chance,” “Brother Can You Spare a Dime,” and “I Want A Little Girl.” A remarkable reading of “The Man I Love” leads into the sultry title piece, which practically drips with soul, but it’s the album closer which delivers a showstopper. With Roach and Harewood laying out Quebec and Hinton converse in a duo setting on a spellbinding performance of “Nature Boy” that reverberates in the listener’s soul long after the last note has faded.
Ike Quebec, saxophone
Freddie Roach, organ
Milt Hinton, bass
Al Harewood, drums