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Nucleus - Elastic Rock/ We'll Talk About It Later CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.21 | 14 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This set of NUCLEUS' first two albums was a nice surprise for me. Maybe because of the words frantic jazz- rock in their bio. Well, it's not that frantic really. Fusion albums by Miles Davis - to whom the text compares them - is not yet so familiar to me, but for example Mahavishnu Orhestra is not my favourites because of the frantic nature in their music. And e.g. Return To Forever often went too far from the acoustic jazz sound. In other words, Nucleus can be better enjoyed as jazz music; the rock elements are not taking over very much.

Here's some trivia you probably already know. There's a connection between Nucleus and SOFT MACHINE as several members of Nucleus later played in Soft Machine, though not in its earliest lineups featuring Daevid Allen, Robert Wyatt, Mike Ratledge, Hugh Hopper, etc. Ian Carr (trumpet, flugelhorn) has been credited as a band leader for Nucleus, but at least these first albums are written by almost all members, KARL JENKINS (keyboards, oboe, saxophone) being the other main composer besides Carr. Jenkins was the key figure in the later Soft Machine, and is the man behind ADIEMUS. An important role in this NUCLEUS lineup is also the one of the guitarist Chris Spedding, known from many various occasions.

Wind instruments form the nucleus in the group's sound, which is very delicious. On Elastic Rock there are tracks carried more or less completely by reeds, and they do have some occasional frantic feel. On the whole the debut album pleases me more than the second one (which includes almost half less tracks even if it is longer album), because of the 7 tracks on We'll Talk About It Later I don't like two. Elastic Rock includes 13 tracks, 8 of them clocking under three minutes. But when you listen to the album, you hardly even notice such feature, as the music keeps flowing more or less seamlessly.

As the majority of the reviews on the individual albums say, these albums represent some of the best music in the adventurous field of Fusion in the early seventies. The 2-disc set includes a decent essay too. Of course the cover design makes no justice to the original Roger Dean covers, but frankly they are not very special to be Dean's anyway. The orange shape on Elastic Rock is revealed to be bursting lava from the vulcanic photo of the next page.

Matti | 4/5 |


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