Get this crazy baby off my head!



Nucleus Hemispheres - 2006 - Hux Records

"There can be little more exciting or rewarding than listening to a band playing live and firing on all cylinders at the absolute peak of its powers, and the live performances presented here by Nucleus are no exception. They capture the group in arguably its finest incarnation right at the start of its long career, exhibiting a staggeringly high level of musical discipline matched by an equally impressive ability to improvise and solo. 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 offer of a recording contract with Vertigo, and the release of several acclaimed albums. The performances on this CD were recorded live in Europe in 1970 & 1971 and draw on material that was to be found on the band's first two LPs, 'Elastic Rock' & 'We'll Talk About It Later'. At the time 'Elastic Rock' attracted comparisons with Miles Davis's work of the period such as In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew, which incorporated rock influences, but the Nucleus album was actually was recorded ahead of these works and Carr has always been keen to distance the band from these comparisons. Ultimately Elastic Rock had elements more in common with Brit avant-garde rockers like the Soft Machine and the Pink Floyd than it did with jazz, even if rock remained the less dominant force in the band's overall approach. Nucleus are still winning new fans today. Their track 'Song for the Bearded Lady' (included here) was recently featured on a 3-CD compilation of Vertigo acts. Mojo magazine revealed: 'the punkoid guitar gun for hire Chris Spedding and UK jazzers led by Ian Carr wig out on this piece of swing 1970 proto punk' © Hux Records, © 2002-2009, Squidco LLC , www.squidco.com/miva/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=10171

Tracks 1 - 7 were recorded in London, in March, 1970. Tracks 8 - 12 were recorded at Théâtre 140, Brussels, Belgium, on 12 Jan 1971. The album is a one hour recording, on one 256 Kbps mp3. There is no division of tracks. It is possible to separate all 12 tracks, but proper fading, etc. would be difficult, and would spoil the flowing continuity of this great live fusion recording. 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 the highly skilled Nucleus. Nucleus were strongly influenced by Miles Davis but often leaned towards the rock side. Technically brilliant playing on often complex works make this a very good album. Nucleus' "We'll Talk About It Later" album is a great progressive jazz/rock fusion album, and should be heard. The Ian Carr with Nucleus' "Labyrinth" album can be found @ IANCARR/NUC/LABYR


1. Cosa Nostra (Nucleus)
2. Elastic Rock (Jenkins)
3. Stonescape (Jenkins)
4. Single Line (Clyne)
5. Twisted Track (Spedding)
6. 1916 (Jenkins)
7. Persephone's Jive (Carr)
8. Song For The Bearded Lady (Jenkins)
9. Tangent (Nucleus)
10. We'll Talk About It Later (Jenkins)
11. Snakehips Dream (Carr)
12. Hemisphere (Nucleus)


Chris Spedding (guitar)
Jeff Clyne (bass guitar)
Karl Jenkins (baritone, oboe, electric piano)
John Marshall (drums)
Brian Smith (tenor, soprano, flute)
Ian Carr (trumpet, flugelhorn)


Two very good-sounding live performances of the early Nucleus lineup, including Chris Spedding on guitar and soon-to-be Soft Machine members Karl Jenkins and John Marshall, are combined into this hour-long CD. Drawn from European gigs in March 1970 and February 1971, Hemispheres includes versions of songs from the first three Nucleus albums, on which they were at the forefront of early jazz-rock fusion in the U.K. Although the liner notes point out that bandleader Ian Carr "has always been keen to distance the band" from comparisons with Miles Davis' late-'60s and early-'70s sound, the resemblance is nonetheless fairly strong, though hardly in an unflattering way. The interaction between horns, electric guitar, and electric piano in particular are very much in line with what Davis was doing on albums such as In A Silent Way. But while there are electric instruments, and a certain rock/funk energy often informs the proceedings, this is still very much an instrumental jazz sound, more aligned with both meditative and challenging modern jazz exploration than rock riffing. Some rock elements do come into play on "Twisted Track," which had originally been done by Spedding's previous progressive rock band The Battered Ornaments, and the bluesy riff anchoring "1916." The material from the 1971 performance finds the players getting into a decidedly more funk-influenced direction in some passages, but without substantially changing their core overall approach. © Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide, © 2008 All Media Guide, LLC


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