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Sat, 08.17.1918

Ike Quebec, Saxophonist and Talent Scout born

Ike Quebec

*Ike Quebec was born on this date in 1918. He was a Black jazz tenor saxophonist, arranger, and talent scout.

Quebec was born in Newark, New Jersey. An accomplished dancer and pianist, he switched to tenor sax as his primary instrument in his early twenties. His recording career started in 1940 with the Barons of Rhythm. He recorded or performed with Frankie Newton, Hot Lips Page, Roy Eldridge, Ella FitzgeraldBenny Carter and Coleman Hawkins, and Cab Calloway.

He began to record for the Blue Note label in the 1950s and served as a talent scout (helping pianists Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell reach wider attention). Quebec was also an uncredited impromptu arranger for many Blue Note sessions. He was a heroin addict and recorded only sporadically during the 1950s, although he still performed regularly; his later playing incorporated elements of hard bop, bossa nova, and soul jazz. In 1959, he began a comeback with a series of albums.

Blue Note executive Alfred Lion was always fond of Quebec's music; in the mid-to-late 1950s, Blue Note issued a series of Quebec singles for the jukebox market. Quebec occasionally recorded on piano, as on his 1961 Blue & Sentimental album, where he alternated between tenor and piano, playing the latter behind Grant Green's guitar solos. Ike Quebec's comeback was short-lived; it ended with his death on January 16, 1963, at 44, from lung cancer.

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