Get this crazy baby off my head!


Ian Carr's Nucleus


Ian Carr's Nucleus - Out Of The Long Dark - 1979 - Capitol

Ian Carr formed Nucleus in October 1969 to enable individual members to express themselves as fully as possible and explore different ways of grooving. The band, which has always been based in London, started with Ian (trumpet/flugelhorn), Karl Jenkins (piano, baritone, oboe), Brian Smith (saxes, flute), Bernie Holland (guitar), Jeff Clyne (bass, bass guitar) and John Marshall (drums)" [Source: Melody Maker Factfinder Series, 19 April 1975, p.48]

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

This is a spectacularly good album of material from the legendary jazz fusion band, Nucleus, recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London, in November, 1978. The late, great trumpeter Ian Carr was one of the greatest, and most influential musicians in British jazz. He played some ground-breaking performances with the Rendell-Carr Quintet and Nucleus, and he provided the inspiration for many world-class musicians. He spearheaded a huge revival in modern jazz music in the 1970s, and brought it to the people. This is the late seventies Nucleus at their very best. Every musician on this recording is brilliant. "Out Of The Long Dark" is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Ian died on 25 February 2009, aged 75. Thankfully, his wonderful music and his unconquerable jazz soul lives on. The Nucleus' "UK Tour 1976" album is @ NUCL/UKT76 The group's "Under The Sun" album can be found @ NUCL/UTS The "Hemispheres" album is @ NUCL/HEMIS and the Ian Carr with Nucleus' "Labyrinth" album is available @ ICARR&NUCL/LABY Read the comprehensive story of this legendary group @ Ian Carr + Nucleus and check out the very informative article, Ian Carr and Nucleus: '70s British Jazz Rock Progenitors See if you can find Neil Ardley's brilliant "Kaleidoscope of Rainbows" album, featuring Nucleus as guests


1. Gone With the Weed - (Carr)
2. Lady Bountiful - (Carr)
3. Solar Wind - (Castle)
4. Selina - (Carr)
5. Out of the Long Dark (Conception) - (Carr)
6. Sassy (American Girl) - (Carr)
7.Simply This (The Human Condition) - (Carr)
8. Black Ballad (Ecce Domina) - (Carr)
9. For Liam - (Carr)


Ian Carr - trumpet, amplified trumpet, flugelhorn, electric piano
Billy Kristian - bass guitar
Geoff Castle - Fender Rhodes piano, electric piano, synthesisers
Brian Smith - tenor, soprano saxes, flute, alto flute, percussion
Roger Sellers - drums, percussion


Neil Ardley - Arp Odyssey, polyphonic synthesizer: Richard Burgess - percussion: Chris Fletcher - percussion on "Solar Wind"


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


Ian Carr (21 April 1933 – 25 February 2009) was a Scottish jazz musician, composer, writer, and educator. Carr was born in Dumfries, Scotland, the elder brother of Mike Carr. From 1952 to 1956, he went to King's College, now Newcastle University, where he read English Literature, followed by a diploma in education. At the age of seventeen Carr started to teach himself trumpet. After university he joined his brother in a Newcastle band, the EmCee Five, from 1960 to 1962, before moving to London, where he became co-leader with Don Rendell of the Rendell–Carr quintet (1963–1969). In its six years, the group (including pianist Michael Garrick, bassist Dave Green, and drummer Trevor Tomkins) made five albums for EMI – all of which have been re-issued – and performed internationally. After leaving the quintet, Carr went on to form the ground-breaking jazz-rock band Nucleus. This led to the release of twelve albums (some under the band's name, some under Carr's), and a successful international career. In their first year they won first prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival, released their first album (Elastic Rock), and performed at both the Newport Jazz Festival and the Village Gate jazz club. He also played with the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble since 1975. Carr worked as a session musician in non-jazz contexts, with Nico, No-Man, Faultline, and others. He also doubled up on flugelhorn. Apart from writing a regular column for the BBC Music Magazine, Carr wrote biographies of the jazz musicians Keith Jarrett and Miles Davis. He was also the co-author of the reference work The Rough Guide to Jazz which has passed through four editions from 1994 (originally Jazz, The Essential Companion, 1988). In addition he contributed sleeve notes for the albums of other musicians (e.g. Indo-Jazz Fusions by Joe Harriott and John Mayer). In 1987, he was appointed associate professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he taught composition and performance, especially improvisation and was founder of the jazz workshop at the Interchange arts scheme, where pianist Julian Joseph, amongst others, was one of his students.


Nucleus were a pioneering jazz-rock band from Britain who continued in different forms from 1969 to 1985. In their first year they won first prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival, released the album Elastic Rock, an essential creation in the crystallization of a new musical expression, Jazz fusion, and performed both at the Newport Jazz Festival and the Village Gate jazz club. They were led by Ian Carr, who had been in the Rendell-Carr Quintet during the mid and late 1960s, and was a respected figure in British jazz for more than 40 years. Their jazz-based music evolved from an early sound incorporating elements of progressive and psychedelic rock towards a funkier sound in the mid and late 1970s. Nucleus' first lineup was leader and trumpeter Ian Carr, keyboardist/oboist Karl Jenkins, saxophonist/flautist Brian Smith, guitarist Chris Spedding, bassist Jeff Clyne and drummer John Marshall. By their third album, the band had expanded to include trumpeters Kenny Wheeler and Harry Beckett, saxophonist Tony Roberts, bassist Ron Mathewson, percussionist Chris Karan and Keith Winter on VCS3 synthesizer. Dave MacRae joined soon after for several albums.Over the years the band has seen many members: Trumpet & flugelhorn: Ian Carr, Kenny Wheeler, Harry Beckett, , Chris Batchelor: Tenor sax, soprano sax, flute: Brian Smith, Bob Bertles, Phil Todd, Tim Whitehead: Clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor sax: Tony Roberts, Tony Coe: Baritone sax, oboe, piano, electric piano: Karl Jenkins: Piano and electric piano: Dave MacRae, Gordon Beck, Geoff Castle: Guitar: Chris Spedding, Allan Holdsworth, Jocelyn Pitchen, Ray Russell, Ken Shaw, Mark Wood: Bass guitar: Jeff Clyne, Ron Mathewson, Roy Babbington, Roger Sutton, Billy Kristian, Mo Foster, Dill Katz, Rob Statham Drums: John Marshall, Clive Thacker, Tony Levin, Bryan Spring, Roger Sellers Percussion: Chris Karan, Trevor Tomkins, Aureo de Souza, Richard Burgess, Chris Fletcher Synthesizer: Keith Winter, Paddy Kingsland, Geoff Castle, Neil Ardley Vocals: Norma Winstone, Joy Yates (Mrs. Dave MacRae), Kieran White Organ: John Taylor. In August 2005, a special one-off reincarnation of Nucleus, with old and new members, performed at London's Cargo venue, to an enthusiastic reception. This was followed on 30 March 2007 by a Nucleus Revisited concert at London's Pizza Express Jazz Club as part of a series of concerts to mark Jazzwise magazine's 10th anniversary. Nucleus Revisited featured, amongst others, Nucleus stalwarts, Geoff Castle, Mark Wood and Tim Whitehead and on trumpet, as at the 2005 Cargo concert, Chris Batchelor. Although Ian Carr did not play due to ill health, he was present at the concert and received a standing ovation from the ecstatic audience. Nucleus Revisited also appeared at Ronnie Scott's club in London on 4 August 2009 as part of their two week long Brit Jazz Fest. The double billing with Michael Garrick's Quartet drew an appreciative packed house.


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


p/w aoofc

Anonymous said...

A fine album even though IMO not up to the standards set by their first half dozen (few bands at the time were even able to approach those standards.) Thanks!


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

Hi, Brian. Thanks for comment. Ian Carr & Nucleus set very high standards. It is hard to pick a "best" album from them, but they never made a bad album, and all their albums are light years ahead of most jazz fusion of the same period. Cheers, & come back soon

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Ian Carr & Nucleus posts. This site is like one of the last old friends left around. I really appreciate all of the fine music that you've shared through the years. - James

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

Hi,James. Thanks. I really hope people keep blogging. It's getting tough with all the Music Police out there, but blogging mostly promotes good music, and not the trash out there making megabucks for X-Factor "judges". TTU soon...Paul