Ike And Tina Turner
Sing The Blues
Acorbatic Music
By Bob Putignano

Blues Wax Rating 5
Reader Rating 5

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, (11/19/08)

1969 found Ike and Tina returning to their Blues roots with a pair of albums that Ike leased to Bob Krasnow's and Tommy LiPuma's wonderful Blue Thumb Record label; that being The Hunter and Outta Season. These two albums are now together on a single one-disc recording on the Acrobat Music Label comprising of eighteen tracks and now titled Ike & Tina Turner Sing the Blues. The tracks included are predominantly Blues and mostly covers, such as T-Bone Walker's "Mean Old World," two Lowell Fulson covers ("Three O'Clock In the Morning Blues" and "Reconsider Baby"), Eddie Boyd's "Five Long Years," Robert Johnson's "Dust My Broom," Melvin Jackson's "Rock Me Baby," etc. You get the picture. But many of these tracks seem like one-offs, plod along, and are for the most part sub-par and certainly not indicative of the high quality recordings Blue Thumb associated itself with. Perhaps the tiny upstart label was looking for some star power to grow their hip imprint with, otherwise I cannot see any other reason why Krasnow and LiPuma wanted to release these Ike & Tina albums.

That being said, the highlights are few. The killer instrumental "Grumbling" from the Outta Season LP (penned by Ike and actually a Blue Thumb single) shows off Ike's growling guitar and is by far the most creative track on this disc. From the same LP is the Jerry Butler/Otis Redding classic "I've Been Loving You Too Long," which reached #23 on the Billboard charts for Ike and Tina and also became a standout staple of the Ike and Tina live onstage performances. There is an interesting New Orleans groove take on Barbara George's "I Know You Don't Love Me No More," which closes out the The Hunter recording sessions, with a an authentic Big Easy acoustic piano foundation presumably set by Ike (no musician credits are listed), but this track is partially marred by some additional (and odd) electronic keyboard noises.

Some additional info: The Outta Season original recording was one of eight albums Ike and Tina issued in 1969, this one is amongst the lesser known or noticed. Until now Outta Season had been deleted, yet only eleven of the thirteen original tracks make it on to this new CD, omitting "My Babe" and "Please Love Me."

The Hunter is also an under-the-radar Blue Thumb recording (the title track is a Booker T., Carl Wells, Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn, Al Jackson cover) that charted on both the Billboard R&B and Pop charts. Yet two of the nine original tracks are omitted here, those being "You Don't Love Me (Yes, I know)" and Guitar Slim's "The Things I Used to Do," which could have been an interesting inclusion.

It is also interesting to note that both of these recordings were released a few years after the epic Phil Spector-produced River Deep Mountain High and nearly six years before Ike and Tina's well documented breakup.

In summary, Ike & Tina Turner Sing the Blues might work for some Blues folks, and may even please some Ike and Tina fans, but my opinion is that this recording should have been left in the vaults.

Bob Putignano www.SoundsofBlue.com Bob Putignano
Radio Host WFDU's "Sounds of Blue"
President of the NY Blues and Jazz Society