Ike & Tina Turner's band formerly known as "The Kings Of Rhythm" has changed its name to "The Family Vibes". Recorded October 1971 at Ike & Tina Turner's Studio " Bolic Sound" 1310 North La Brea, Inglewood, California 90302.
In 1972 a new creative and artistic season began for Ike Turner, while his power-duo (with presumed wife Tina Turner) was suddenly treading water mainly for him losing interest in the project. In this period his solo career was flourishing and brilliant: in 1972 and 1973 he released four records, two credited to him and two credited to The Family Vibes (such as this case).
In fact, The Family Vibes were not an actual band or a static one: they were just the various musicians backing the duo live and in the studio (more or less the same people credited as Ike Turner & The Kings of Rhythm), with an ever changing line up of skilled musicians at the service of Mr. Turner; so no one will be surprised if Strange Fruit is the ideal follow up to A Black Man's Soul (both featuring Ike on piano and being totally instrumental), taking to the extreme consequencies the instrumental funk-rock-blues of that record.
In Strange Fruit the band sounds close-knit as never before, with Ike's compositions greatly arranged in a very complex (but not overtly bombastic) way; the melodic structures are more meditated (Happy but Lonely, I-8-1-2: the standout tracks). A certain tendency to fruitful improvisation is also enjoyable in the record; overall a very interesting album, sure one of the masterpieces of Ike Turner's discography. Track:
1. Happy But Lonely
5. Bootie Lip
6. Soppin' Molasses
10. I-8-1-2 (I Ate One Too)
11. Pardon Me Personnel:
Bass – Warren Dawson
Drums – Soko Richardson
Engineer – Steve Waldman
Guitar – Jackie Clark
Producer, Arranged By, Engineer, Organ – Ike Turner
Saxophone, Reeds – J.D. Reed
Tenor Saxophone – Jimmy Smith
Tenor Saxophone, Piano – Larry Reed
Trombone – Edward Burks
Trumpet – Claude Williams (2), Mack Johnson