Jack Rabbit Blues
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31 track compilation of Ike Turner's work from 1958-1960 plus a 10" single Companion to Ike Turner- "That Kat Sure Could Play". Every one of these tracks features Ike Turner on guitar, piano &/or vocals. The 10" repro of rare Tune 78 singles plays at 45rpm. Features Little Ann, as in Annie Mae Bullock the future Tina Turner.
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First off, you get a 10" vinyl Single, in a cool vintage style album cover. The record's 'A' side features "Box Top", with Turner, Carlson Oliver, and (a young Tina Turner under the name) Little Ann on backing vocals. The 'B' side is "Chalpyso Love Cry" (sic) a then popular dance combining the cha-cha and calypso styles, which has Ike Turner's Orchestra-featuring Fred sample on vocals.
The 31 track CD (in great sound) is in a cardboard sleeve, with a retro-ish cover and track listing on the back. A jewel case would've been nice, but I simply transferred the disc for protection. The booklet is the size of the album jacket, and has a biography of Ike and Tina, and information on the various tracks. There's also a great b&w photo of Turner's orchestra (with a smiling Tina Turner) on the cover, and another great period photo of Tina Turner on stage with Ike playing his guitar, along with various 45 labels on the back. But the most important thing is the track by track session details for every song-with all the information you would want. But the only (bad?) thing is that if you want to see who's playing on a particular track, you have to have the large booklet by your side. But that's a small price to pay when the music is this good.
On the CD there's well known artists like Betty Everett, Buddy Guy (vocals only-Ike Turner plays lead along with Willie Dixon-bass, Odie Payne-drums, Harold Barrage-sax and a couple of others), Otis Rush (some of his fine Cobra sides also featuring Ike Turner on guitar plus Dixon Payne, and other)), Ike Turner and his band, and Tina Turner, plus several relatively unknown artists. It's these artists that give this set added depth. People like Kenneth Churchill ("Fate of Rock 'N' Roll"), Chuck Bernard ("Call Your Name"), Tommy Hodge (2 tracks), Jimmy Thomas (2 tracks), Bobby Foster ("Star Above"), and Art Lassiter ("It's Alright"), and (of course) Icky Renrut (Ike Turner) ("In Your Eyes Baby" among several other tracks), all have vocals on one or two (or more) tunes apiece.
All in all, for fans of Turner and his early music, and/or stomping r&b/blues (with great honking horns and some incendiary blues guitar), this is pretty close to a must-have. These tracks (some coming close to primitive r'n'r) are every bit as good as the 4 CD set mentioned above. Together they give a good (and killer sounding) look at what Ike Turner was doing during this period. And if you want more Turner from the era, checkout "Ike Turner Studio Productions, New Orleans and Los Angeles, Modern, 1963-1965", on the Ace label. But this cool little release, with an actual vinyl 10" record included is something worth looking into if you're a fan of the music. And did I mention that the music is hot.