His Woman, Her Man

Ike Turner

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His Woman, Her Man Review

by Thom Jurek

Del Records' issue, His Woman, Her Man, is a collection of previously unreleased material by Ike Turner & His Kings of Rhythm from the years 1970-1973 (and yes, Tina was in the band for these). The period was a fertile one for Turner, who had not only been digging deeply into funkier rhythms and progressions for his brand of soul, but for his embrace of new production techniques and instruments. Here are some of the first ARP synthesizer and drum machine tracks ever recorded and the way Turner utilizes them, we can hear the later sounds of the P-Funk organization as well as later Earth, Wind & Fire, Lonnie Liston Smith, and Herbie Hancock's funk-jazz directions. The vast majority of these 17 tunes are originals, most of which were recorded at Turner's Bolic Sound Studio in Los Angeles; it was a virtual sound laboratory. The sound of the ARP and drum machine -- in 1971! -- on traditional blues tracks like "I've Got My Mojo Workin'," and Berry Gordy's "Money," turns the originals inside out and rocks them up. Turner was very much interested in crossing over to the rock & roll generation's penchant for heavier sounds -- evidenced even more by the reworked funk version of "Proud Mary," which was cut while Ike & Tina's hit version was still on the charts. Wilder still are Ike's own "He Makes Me Want to Holler," with an unmistakable gospel chorus, steep funky backbeat, and the ARP put through a wah wah pedal! The straight Memphis soul rave-up of "It's Groovier Across the Line," is stretched to the limit by fuzzed-out guitar effects but never, ever gives up the sweet southern groove. Tina's voice is in its prime here, as evidenced by the opener "Can't Find My Mind," and "Baby Get It On," which were originally written for the Rolling Stones -- who never recorded them. Three of these covers, "Mojo," "Money," and "Ya Ya," come from an unused Blue Thumb session that proved the label execs had their heads up their asses for not releasing them at the time. Bottom line is that these sessions may not be awesome in terms of fidelity, but they're plenty good, and in terms of sheer musical acumen and killer grooves, they more than compensate. Awesome.

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