Get this crazy baby off my head!



Nucleus - Under The Sun - 1974 - 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

'Under the Sun's cast featured a sort of double band with Ian Carr on trumpet/flugelhorn & Bob Bertles on reeds; Gordon Beck & Geoff Castle on electric piano & synth; Jocelyn Pitchen & Ken Shaw on guitars and Roger Sutton (el. bass) & Bryan Spring (drums) as the rhythm team. The difference between this and previous Nucleus records was the loss of longtime frontline partner, saxist Brian Smith and the addition of newcomers Bertles and Spring. This double version of Nucleus has a wonderful, somewhat thicker sound. As Gordon Beck gets down on his el. piano, Geoff Castle swirls rambunctious colors on his synth, also both guitarists snake their devilishly cool guitar parts in and around each other. Keiran White, of the great British rock/blues/jazz band Steamhammer, adds a bit of steamy, snarling vocals to "The Addison Trip". The melancholy and aptly titled "Pastoral Graffiti" features some exquisite flute and flugel, is laid back and luscious. "New Life" features some splendid, propulsive drums, superb swirling horns and el. pianos and an excellent mystical el. guitar solo. "A Taste of Sarsaparilla" is a hypnotic, slightly funky groove tune with another splendid solo from Ian Carr. This is the intro to an ambitious, three part theme work which shows off Ian's fine composing as it moves through different, challenging sections with hairpin turns which are peppered with a number of swell solos for baritone sax and fire-breathing trumpet, plus lots of mesmerizing guitars and keyboards and that ever-tight and kickin' rhythm team. [ from Downtown Music Gallery @ http://search2.downtownmusicgallery.com/lookup.cgi?item=2007_04_30_16_10_28 ]

A great fusion album in the Canterbury progressive jazz rock style, from the late Ian Carr's continually evolving Nucleus, and VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Nucleus' "Hemispheres" album can be found @ NUCL/HEMISP and the Ian Carr with Nucleus' "Labyrinth" album is @ ICARR/NUCL/LABY Read the very informative article, "Ian Carr and Nucleus: '70s British Jazz Rock Progenitors" @ http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=15163


A1 In Procession - Ian Carr 2:52
A2 The Addison Trip - Bryan Spring 3:53
A3 Pastoral Graffiti - Ian Carr 3:28
A4 New Life - Roger Sutton 7:01
A5 A Taste Of Sarsaparilla - Ian Carr 0:40

B1 Theme 1 Sarsaparilla - Ian Carr 6:45
B2 Theme 2 Feast Alfresco - Ian Carr 5:56
B3 Theme 3 Rites Of Man - Ian Carr 9:58


Ian Carr: Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Geoff Castle: Electric Piano, Synthesizer
Gordon Beck: Electric Piano, Percussion
Ken Shaw, Jocelyn Pitchen: Guitar
Roger Sutton: Bass
Bryan Spring: Drums
Bob Bertles: Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Flute
Kieran White: Vocals on "The Addison Trip"


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


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



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


p/w aoofc

Rev. Dr. Moller. MDMA, THC and BAR. said...

I like Nucleus but I've not heard this one, thanks Fingal.

Eric said...

Perfect timing, I was just thinking about this album yesterday and how I needed it.
Thanks :D

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

Hi, Eric. It's a good album, as are all Nucleus/Ian Carr albums. Thanks, &ttu soon

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

Howzitgoin'? Your Reverence. Great fusion. Not enough around these days. TTU soon, Your Holiness!!

Eric said...

Ya know so far I don't think I've heard a bad Nucleus album.
The newest one I have by them (excluding live albums) is "Out Of The Long Dark" on vinyl.
It's not as adventurous as their earlier Vertigo era catalog ,but still a good one.
R.I.P. Ian Carr

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

Hi, Eric. Amen to Ian Carr. All good albums. There's more Nucleus stuff out there, and Ian Carr did a lot of stuff also. I'll be posting more of his work v.soon...Thanks, Eric, & ttu soon