Wednesday, October 14, 2015

IAN CARR with NUCLEUS – Solar Plexus (LP-1971)




Label: Vertigo ‎– 6360 039
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: UK / Released: 1971
Style: Fusion, Free Jazz, Jazz-Rock
Produced for Ronnie Scott Directions Ltd.
Recorded on the 14th and 15th of December 1970, London.
Design [Cover Design] – B.E. Ltd.
Engineer – Roger Wake
Producer – Pete King
Original VERTIGO, UK first pressing.
Matrix / Runout (stamped): Side 1:  6360 039  1 Y // 1 420   1 1 1 04
Matrix / Runout (stamped): Side 2:  6360 039  2 Y // 1 420   1 1 4 04

A1 - Elements I & II ................................................................ 2:12
A2 - Changing Times .............................................................. 4:44
A3 - Bedrock Deadlock ........................................................... 6:52
A4 - Spirit Level ...................................................................... 9:20
B1 - Torso ............................................................................... 6:12
B2 - Snakehip's Dream ......................................................... 15:16

Line-up / Musicians
- Ian Carr / trumpet, flugelhorn
- Karl Jenkins / oboe, baritone saxophone, E-piano, piano
- Brian Smith / tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute
- Chris Spedding / guitar
- Jeff Clyne / bass, contrabass
- John Marshall / drums, percussion

Guest musicians:
- Kenny Wheeler / trumpet, flugelhorn
- Harry Beckett / trumpet, flugelhorn
- Tony Roberts / tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
- Ron Matthewson / bass
- Chris Karan / percussion
- Keith Winter / synthesizer

Solar Plexus is the third Nucleus album (now titled Ian Carr with Nucleus) and it is clear that a shift has occurred with Carr taking over songwriting duties from Karl Jenkins. The sound therefore is quite different, heavier predisposition to the brassier elements of jazz as well as a hint of experimental tones as the synth heavy "Elements I and II" display and reprised through the course of this recording.




Karl Jenkins was the main composer on NUCLEUS' first two albums, but "Solar Plexus" is 100% Ian Carr. I'll let Ian describe this album for you."I wrote "Solar Plexus" last year with the help of an "Arts Council" grant. It is based on two short themes which are stated at the beginning ("Elements I & II"). The first theme is angular and has a slow crab-like movement : the second theme is direct, simple and diatonic "Changing Times" and "Spirit Level" explore the first theme, and "Bedrock Deadlock" and "Torso" explore the second one. "Snakeships' Dream" tries to fuse both themes".
The big difference for me on this one compared to their first two albums is the bigger horn section. It's the same lineup here but there are 6 guests, 3 of which play brass.

"Elements I & II" is the just over 2 minute opening track. I'm thinking UNIVERS ZERO the first time I heard this dark and haunting soundscape. Synths and bowed bass help in that department. "Changing Times" opens like the sun bursting out from behind the dark clouds. Lots of horns in this very enjoyable track. This is simply a "feel good" song for me. Guitar with bass takes over late to finish the song. "Bedrock Deadlock" is very solemn with aboe and double bass for the first 2 minutes. Guitar, drums and percussion then take over. Sax after 3 1/2 minutes followed by trumpet. So much going on here. This is great ! "Spirit Level" sounds so amazing to start with those dark angular sounds. It then kicks in with bass, horns etc. The flugelhorn throughout is fantastic. Marshall really shines here as well. Ian had this to say about John's drumming."It's like an essay on how to play drums for this kind of music. He's got incredible strength, he's very powerful, yet he has equally incredible sensitivity". Some excellent sax in this song as well.

"Torso" is uptempo with guitar, horns, drums and bass. An outstanding sounding track. Sax solo before 2 minutes. A collage of sounds 4 1/2 minutes in then Marshall starts to solo. "Snakehips' Dream" is the over 15 minute closer. I like this one a lot. It's relaxing with electric piano and other sounds that come and go tastefully. Guitar comes in. I could listen to this all day long. Sax after 4 1/2 minutes. This song has the same main melody throughout.

I like this better than their debut but "We'll Talk About It Later" remains my favourite probably because it sounds a lot like Miles Davis at times. Interesting though that the first three albums really are quite different from one another. I'd like to dedicate this to the memory of Ian Carr who died six years ago. A great loss. I mentioned somewhere else about being surprised to see Ian had guested on one of the NO-MAN albums a few years ago, and at the time I thought "How did they manage to get Ian Carr to play on here". A true legend.














Note:

Ian Henry Randall Carr
Scottish jazz trumpeter, band leader, writer, and composer.
Born: 21 April 1933 in Dumfries, Scotland.
Died: 25 February 2009 in London, England, UK (aged 75).

He was perhaps best known for his group Nucleus which was successful throughout the 1970s, but also his work as one of the two leading members of the eponymous The Don Rendell / Ian Carr Quintet during the 1960s, has in more recent times been much sought after by jazz music collectors for it's unique characteristics.



If you find it, buy this album!

7 comments:

  1. IAN CARR with NUCLEUS – Solar Plexus (LP-1971)
    Vinyl Rip/FLAC+Artwork

    1fichier:
    https://1fichier.com/?2holf3c3ae

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great album, and beautiful design. Thanks for the flac rip!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Vitko, this is a must hear!
    best regards, K.

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  4. Thanks Vitko . . . I had not heard this one!

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  5. Thanks Vitko for another journey in the past. Ian Carr was of one of the most unterrated musicians of his time. I´ve got the CD reissue, but never had the chance to listen to the original album. As always a lot of respect for what you`re doing.and offer to us.

    Uwe

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    Replies
    1. LP has a better, fuller and warmer sound.

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  6. I confirm !! Merci beaucoup, Vitko !

    ReplyDelete