Album Review

Turner, Ike – The Bad Man – [Night Train International]

Hunter Gatherer   10/4/2005   CD, Soul

This CD contains 20 ultra-rare tracks produced by guitarist/producer/polymath Izear Luster Turner, better known as Ike Turner, from a period of his life between starting his own labels after moving to L.A. in 1962 and signing to the Kent and Modern labels in 1964/65.

With a carefully assembled band from his stints in Memphis and St. Louis, Mr. Turner started five labels (Innis, Teena, Sonja, Prann, and Sony) to record them in various configurations and under various names. This is a project that would only be undertaken by someone with boundless energy and serious control issues. Check out the CD insert for the full story.

The music is R&B with a southern feel, and it’s interesting to hear Mr. Turner trying out different arrangements sounds from song to song. A DJ in his teenage years, he was known to play everything from country and western to jump blues.
The two brightest voices on the CD are Anna Mae Bullock, better known as Tina Turner, (3-5, 8, 9) and the great Fontella Bass (10, 16)(check her out on Cinematic Orchestra‘s All That You Give on A/CD).

Mr. Turner‘s instincts were not always true. For example on (4) Tina is supposed to be crying but it sounds like she’s laughing her head off. It’s a bizarre effect. One major complaint about the album is that there isn’t enough of Ike on guitar. I’ve always been a fan of his guitar playing.
This is the sound of one pimp slapping.
–Hunter Gatherer

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