Monday, April 23, 2007

Ike Turner at the Jazz Cafe

Even at the age of 75 Ike Turner still has an eye for the ladies and a wicked line in double entendres. As he showed at the Jazz Cafe last night, Ike and his Kings of Rhythm can put on one hell of a show, even if his voice is knackered these days. A Grammy winner in 2007, Ike showed that he definitely still has what it takes - as a keyboard player, guitarist and entertainer. His eight piece band is tight and faultless and Ike himself seems to be as fit as can be. At one point he slipped off his stool, but got straight up, and he was doing arm lifts on the railings as he descended the stairs to the stage.

After kicking off with a classic piece of boogie woogie, he launched into a string of blues, R and B and rock and roll numbers, including Tequila, an excellent version of Caldonia - he said Louis Jordan was his favourite as a young man - and rocking versions of Johnny B Goode and Charlie Brown (the latter with appropriate wrist action at the enigmatic line 'That's him on his knees. I know that's him, come 7 from 11 in the boy's gym'). Ike always has a female singer in his line up, and this time it was a vivacious and curvaceous lady very much in the Tina mould whose name, if I caught it right, was Erica. She bounced through Nutbush City Limits and Proud Mary among others. Whoever she is, she's new from the last time I saw Ike and obviously enjoys her work. So, it would seem, does Ike.

After all that he's been through - from public scorn over his treatment of his ex, to drug abuse and jail - he might be forgiven for gently moving into retirement at his age. But that's clearly not his style. And I for one hope he keeps going for many years to come. Ever since he made what is considered to be the first rock and roll record Rocket 88 in 1950, Ike has been a central figure in the evolution of black music. He well deserves his Grammy.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home