Ike Turner R.I.P.

Legend Ike Turner Dies at 76 Contributions to Music Were Often Overshadowed By Claims of Abuse AP Posted: 2007-12-12 17:41:01 SAN DIEGO (Dec. 12) - Ike Turner, whose role as one of rock's critical architects was overshadowed by his ogrelike image as the man who brutally abused former wife Tina Turner, died Wednesday at his home in suburban San Diego. He was 76. Turner died at his San Marcos home, Scott M. Hanover of Thrill Entertainment Group, which managed Turner's career, told The Associated Press. ### For those of you who are unfamilair with his work, Ike Turner was one of the founding fathers of Rock'n'Roll and modern guitar playing. In 1951 Ike Turner and his Kings Of Rhythm laid down the rollicking ROCKET 88, which was credited to songer Jackie Brenston and hailed as _the_ first Rock'n'Roll record. He was also a talent scout for Sun Records around that time bringing a certain Chester Burnette, later known as Howlin' Wolf, to the attention of Sam Phillips. Phillips later sold Wolf's contract to the the Chess Brothers in Chicago. Starting out on piano, which he played on ROCKET 88, he switched to guitar so that he could lead the band easier than from behind the keys and in the proccess discovered the joys of whammy bar abuse. He was and always will be the original whammy bar king, and was a significant influence on a young Jimi Hendrix. Like Tommy Bolin, Ike's biggest commercial success that brought his name to the masses was not his biggest aristic success. The Ike & Tina Turner Revue made him a household name, but not for musical reasons and the public has been so obsessed with tabloid-like stories that his extremely significant contributions to American music have been forgotten by all but a handful of guitarists and music historians. In his defense I have to say that he wasn't the only one, that sort of thing was common during the time and place he came from, Mississppi, and even Tina herself has stated publicly that Hollywood, as usual, overdid it in the movie. On a side note, Revue drummer Soko Richardson, who came up with their arrangement of PROUD MARY which was their biggest hit, later played with Albert Collins. In 2001 Ike returned to his roots and released Ike Turner & His Kings Of Rhythm HERE AND NOW which includes a remake of ROCKET 88. Ike is in fine form on this album playing the music he started out on, on both guitar and piano, and generally enjoying himself. Anybody who likes to boogie is advised to pick up this CD. In 2006 he topped himself with RISIN' WITH THE BLUES, one of the best albums of his long career. His St. Louis style lowdown and Jump Blues is highlighted by Funk and Jazz and features lots of instrumentals along side the raspiest, nastiest vocals since Howlin' Wolf. This is also a must-have album and no fan of Blues, guitar, R&B or music in general should be without it. Music is the purest art form, it needs no explanation other than itself. This is one of the reasons why I play a lot of instrumentals. Many of the guitarists whose styles became bedrock foundations of my own style are known for their instrumental peices; Albert Collins, Freddie King, Lonnie Mack and of course Ike Turner. My introduction to Ike was on a compilation album called BLUES GUITAR BLASTERS. Among Jimmy Nolen, Pee Wee Crayton and Johnny 'Guitar' Watson Ike's TWISTIN' THE STRINGS jumps out of the speakers like a hot rod busting through the garage door. More than a decade before Jimi Hendrix's fuzzed-out experience and Tommy Bolin's burning solo on Billy Cobham's QUADRANT 4 Ike is turning Leo Fender's vibrato arm into a rocket to Mars. While The Ike & Tina Turner revue continues to be his household-name work his artistic triumphs are the bookends of his career. His early-50's recordings with The Kings Of Rhythm both define the R&B of his era while being timelessly beyond it. His last two albums with a new Kings Of Rhythm lineup are both old school back-to-roots, and fresh modern Blues records that defy the current Blues cliche's. What the public sadly overlooks with their soap-opera clebrity obsession us musicians, Blues lovers, R&B fans, and music historians celebrate as the work of a true master. Thank you Ike, for all the rockin' R&B, the catchy instrumentals, the whammy bar abuse, and in general all the contributions you made and the music you left us with. I'm sorry I didn't get to meet you. Must-have Ike Turner Discography: TRAILBLAZER- A collection of his early recordings. Songs are creited to various artists -Bily Gayles, Jackie Brenston, Kings Of Rhythm - but all are Ike Turner on guitar or piano leading the band. BLUES KINGPINS - A series put otu by Capitol Records that includes Lightnin' Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Elmore James, Fats Domino and Ike Turner. Another collection of early recordings. Being extremely prolific, this one doesn't repeat ay of the same numbers as TRAILBLAZER and features some Latin touches o several tunes. BLUES GUITAR BLASTERS, Various Artists - The only record I know of that contains Ike's instrumental TWISTIN THE STRINGS. If you've ever wondered why Jimi Hendrix, Jimmie Vaughan, Don Leady, J.J. Vicars, and a million other guitarists reverd him this will answer in aprroximately 2 minutes and 30 seconds. An you'll never be the same again! The tracks from the other artists are also standout. *I'm skipping over the Ike & Tina stuff, since most folks are already familair with it and any Greatest Hits package will do. HERE AND NOW - His 2001 reurn to his roots. This album is just plain fun. Rock'n'Roll/R&B the way it was meant to be played. It jumps, it swings, it boogies, it shuffles and Ike is tearin' it up throughout. RISIN' WITH THE BLUES - 2006 and he expands on his last album adding more Jazz and Funk to his palette. His vocals on this one have to be geard to be believed and the Jazz-influenced instrumentals are downright smokin'! www.iketurner.com