Friday, April 21, 2023

Fusion Nucleus: Ian Carr 90

Ian Carr w. Nucleus + NDR Big Band - Rainbows 4

Hey now! It's once again milestone birthday time for innovators now gone!

Today we have a guy who helped legitimize British Jazz, and one of the first cats to get Jazz and Rock music into the same room and eyeing each other lustfully across the dancefloor.

He led the same boundary-shattering group -- with an ever-evolving personnel -- over four decades.

Decades ago, before I ever knew who he was, I read his Miles Davis book, today considered one of the best ever written about his fellow trumpet deity.

But it's Nucleus -- surely one of the greatest and most intense fusion ensembles ever to seamlessly integrate the harmonic sophistication of Jazz with the high energy abandon of Rock -- for which he'll always be treasured by millions.

A decade before he began that seminal group, he was a central figure in the development of Jazz from the UK into a thing all of its own, and which would become acknowledged as some of the best ever played in the years to come.

Nucleus began at the outset of the 1970s, and by a year into their advent were packing in and blowing away all audiences they could get their horns on all across Europe.

Some of their records of that time are considered absolute essentials of the genre, and I concur. Belladonna, Elastic Rock and countless other albums of theirs are never far from my little Winamp window here.
He passed away in 2009, and myriad tributes from many essential players followed, one of which I'm sharing here today.

The great Ian Carr would have been 90 today, can you believe that? I'm gonna do Willie Nelson next week, he is too. Funny how time slips away. Where does the time go? To quote the also-great (and also-English) Sandy Denny, who knows, I guess.

Ian Carr with Nucleus + NDR Big Band
"Two of a Kind"
broadcasts, 1977-1987

01 Kaleidoscope of Rainbows: Prologue and Rainbow 1
Nucleus & NDR Bigband, conducted by Neil Ardley
Geoff Castle - piano
Brian Smith - tenor saxophone
Ian Carr - trumpet

02 Kaleidoscope of Rainbows: Rainbow 4
Nucleus & NDR Bigband, conducted by Neil Ardley
Brian Smith - tenor saxophone

03 Kaleidoscope of Rainbows: Rainbow 7 and Epilogue
Nucleus & NDR Bigband, conducted by Neil Ardley
Geoff Castle - piano
Brian Smith - tenor saxophone
Leo Wright - soprano saxophone
Ian Carr - trumpet

04 Fandango
NDR Bigband, conducted by Michael Gibbs
Ian Carr - flugelhorn
Rainer Brüninghaus - piano

05 Tapestry
NDR Bigband, conducted by Michael Gibbs
Herb Geller - alto saxophone
Wolfgang Schlüter - marimba
Ian Carr - trumpet
Rainer Brüninghaus - piano

06 Mother of the Dead Man
NDR Bigband, conducted by Michael Gibbs
Ian Carr - flugelhorn 
Rainer Brüninghaus - piano

Total time: 47:25

Tracks 01-03: NDR Studios, Hamburg DE 1.25.1977 FM
Tracks 04-06: NDR Studios, Hamburg DE August 1987 FM
digital capture of a 320/48k German rebroadcast from 2013, converted to 16/44 CD Audio, retracked and remastered by EN, April 2023

Nucleus Revisited
"Ian Carr Celebration Tour"
Queen Elizabeth Hall
London, UK

01 Mr. Jelly Lord
02 Selina
03 Roots
04 Mutatis Mutandis
05 Midnight Oil
06 Lady Bountiful
07 Things Past

Total time: 59:30

Phil Todd - saxophones & woodwinds 
Tim Whithead - saxophones & woodwinds
Chris Batchelor - trumpet
Rob Statham - bass
Nic France - drums & percussion
Mark Wood - guitar
Geoff Castle - keyboards
Ray Russell - guitar (Tracks 05-07)
John Marshall - drums (Tracks 06 & 07)

master digital capture of an off-air FM broadcast
first aired 4.23-24.2010 on BBC Radio 3
volume increased +1 dB throughout -- with dropouts repaired -- by EN, April 2023
299 & 365 MB FLAC, respectively/direct link

I will be back in 48 with a tasty anniversary remaster guaranteed to set Sparks flying.

This makes up for that day years ago when I had a post on Ian Carr all set to go, and then Prince died! But regardless of the purple pause that caused, it's better late than never for a Friday Forefather of Funky Fusion such as IC!--J.

4.21.1933 - 2.25.2009

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