Get this crazy baby off my head!


Ian Carr with Nucleus

Ian Carr with Nucleus - Labyrinth - 1973 - Vertigo

Formed in September 1969, Nucleus were an immediate and explosive success and in 1970 appeared at two of the world's most prestigious jazz festivals at Newport and Montreux. The band were inspired to some extent by the contemporary electrified experiments of Miles Davis, but mostly by Carr's wide-ranging ideas about exotic and non-Western improvisation and rhythmic patterns. These he combined with his own jazz improvisation and the sort of ostinato bass patterns brought into the rock field by Davis acolytes such as Herbie Hancock. It was Davis, however, who was the pre-eminent influence on Carr's work and Carr became one of the world's leading scholars on the subject of Davis and his music. Over the years Nucleus drew in some of the best musicians from the British jazz scene, including John Marshall, Karl Jenkins, Brian Smith, Jeff Clyne, Chris Spedding, Harry Beckett, Tony Coe and Ron Mathewson. Nucleus finally disbanded in the late Eighties. © Steve Voce, © independent.co.uk

The late Scottish-born trumpeter, Ian Carr, was an early practitioner of jazz-rock fusion and also wrote a bio of the great Miles Davis. He was also a founder of one of the earliest, and highly skilled fusion bands, Nucleus. Nucleus took their their cue from the music style of Miles Davis but frequently leaned towards the rock side. Technically brilliant playing on melodic and often complex works make this a very good album. Nucleus' "We'll Talk About It Later" album is a brilliant progressive jazz/rock fusion album, and should be heard. You can find information on Nucleus, including "Labyrinth" @ NUCLEUS/LABYRINTH/ALL ABOUT JAZZ


A1 Origins
A2 Bull Dance
A3 Ariadne
A4 Arena
B1 Arena (Continued From Side One)
B2 Exultation
B3 Naxos

All compositions by Ian Carr, except "Ariadne", by Ian Carr, Sandy Carr


Ian Carr: Flugelhorn, Trumpet
Roy Babbington: Bass
Gordon Beck, Dave MacRae: Electric Piano
Paddy Kingsland: Synthesizer
Clive Thacker, Tony Levin: Drums
Trevor Tomkins: Percussion
Tony Coe: Bass Clarinet, Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Brian Smith: Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Flute
Kenny Wheeler: Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Norma Winstone: Vocals


Ian Carr has been on the cutting edge of the British jazz scene for nearly four decades. Self-trained as a musician, Carr played an important role in the development of jazz-rock fusion, playing with John McLaughlin in the early '60s, forming one of England's first electronic jazz-rock fusion groups, Nucleus, in 1969 and playing with the international band the United Jazz Rock Ensemble, since 1975. In 1982, Carr received a Calabria award in southern Italy for Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Jazz. Wire Magazine presented him a special award for services to British jazz in 1987. Carr has been equally influential as a music journalist and educator. The co-author of a jazz encyclopedia, The Essential Companion, Carr was also the author of Music Outside, an examination of contemporary British jazz published in 1973; Miles Davis: The Definitive Biography, published in 1982; and Keith Jarrett: The Man and His Music, published in 1991. Since 1992, Carr has written a monthly column for BBC Music Magazine. Carr is an associate professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Dance and lectures weekly on jazz history. Born in Scotland and raised in England, Carr thought little of a career in music until he was nearly 30 years old. Educated at King's College in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, where he studied English literature, Carr served in the Army in the late '50s. Shortly after his discharge, he formed a band, the EmCee Five, with his brother Mike and John McLaughlin. Carr remained with the band for two years, leaving to form the Rendell-Carr Group with saxophonist Don Rendell in 1962. During the seven years he worked with Rendell, Carr helped the band record five albums. In September 1969, Carr helped form the groundbreaking fusion band Nucleus. The group attracted international acclaim when it took the top prize in a competition at the Montreaux International Festival in 1970. Carr continued to play with Nucleus until 1989 when he left to tour the United Kingdom and Europe as a soloist on electric trumpet with an Anglo-American orchestra led by American composer George Russell. Old Heartland was recorded with the Kreisler String Orchestra in 1988 while Sounds and Sweet Airs was recorded with organist John Taylor in 1992. © Craig Harris, allmusic.com


Nucleus began its long jazz-rock journey in 1969, when it was originally formed by trumpeter Ian Carr. They attracted a following after a successful performance at the Montreux International Festival in 1970, which led to the critical success of albums Elastic Rock and We'll Talk About It Later. The other members consisted of saxophonist Karl Jenkins, drummer John Marshall, and guitarist Chris Spedding. Spedding split after the first two albums, but the rest of the lineup lasted until 1972, when Jenkins and Marshall both left to join Soft Machine. Belladonna was the first album with only Carr, and although he enlisted the help of guitarist Allan Holdsworth, the band eventually became a solo venture for his music. They finally broke up in the mid-'80s after several Carr-only albums. © Bradley Torreano, allmusic.com


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w aoofc

Eric said...

I wonder if that's bassist supreme Tony Levin on drums.
I read his bio and he plays several instruments.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Eric. No. It's not the Tony Levin who played with King Crimson and Peter Gabriel, etc. Nucleus' Tony Levin is British. There's info about him @ http://www.mindyourownmusic.co.uk/tony-levin-biog.htm
Thanks for comment. Have a good Yuletide, & ttu soon

Eric said...

Thanks for getting back with the info. on Tony Levin.
I'm a long time Nucleus fan and this is one of their albums I never got.
So being a fan of Tony Levin the bassist as well I was very intrigued if it was in fact him.

Here's wishing you a wonderful holiday as well!

Excellent, informative blog you have btw.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Eric. No problem. Thanks a million for your comments and queries. I love Nucleus as well. I may post more of their music. Have a peaceful festive season and I hope to be in touch with you soon

Eric said...

Oh wow,right on if you can post more Nucleus :D
I'm interested in some of their less celebrated works such as "Belladonna","Roots".

Have a wonderful holiday!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Eric. Glad you like the band. Have you heard any Isotope records.....similar stuff. I'll post some Nucleus after Yuletide. Thanks, and have a peaceful festive season

Eric said...

Isotope are one of those bands I knew of, but never checked out.
But on your rec. I shall do so :D
Thanks very much

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Eric. Let me know your opinion. Thanks, & ttu soon

Kosta said...

thanks...i didn't know this Nucleus album, never seen before...

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Kosta. It's a really good album. Nucleus' work is terrific, and not heard enough. I'm trying to find more of their lesser known works to post. Thanks for comment, & ttu soon

Eric said...

I really am enjoying this album, just played it for a friend and they dug it too.
Singer Norma Winstone adds much to the proceedings adding a unique vocal textures to the trademark Nucleus sound.
She's new to me I located her website and she has a very impressive resume.
Have you heard her solo work?,I'm curious about her now

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Eric. Isotope are one of the greatest ever fusion bands. I listen to them all the time. Norma Winstone is not that well known. I have an album of hers called "Distances" which is straight jazz vocals, but she has an unusual voice, and the album is good. Thanks, Eric, & ttu soon

Eric said...

Yeah Norma Winstone I've only heard of on this Nucleus release but on her site it reveals she's been very active throughout the yrs. and even nominated for a Grammy award.

It's frustrating @ times to witness (imo) so many mediocre talents reap all the acclaim from the mainstream while "musicians" ( not poseurs,or mass marketed dribble) struggle in relative obscurity.

*But* the upside is blogs such as yours helps spread their name, music and those interested enough will discover it.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Eric. I agree with you. There's little you can do except try and promote these artists. The greedy, money grabbing music moguls out there won't do it. I know that blogging helps. I'm not trying to make a "red cent" from this blog, just trying to let people know that music does not evolve from the X-Factor, or stuff like that. One of the greatest ever soul/jazz/blues singers, Kyla Brox is never heard on the media. There's some of her stuff on this blog. Read what Kevin Coyne has to say about the music scene. He has an album on this blog. TVM, Eric, & ttu soon