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Nucleus - Elastic Rock CD (album) cover

ELASTIC ROCK

Nucleus

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.96 | 73 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
5 stars A beautifully judged and played jazz-rock album, 'Elastic Rock' marked the beginning of a series of intricate and experimental fusion albums for the group's leader, trumpet-player Ian Carr. As did Soft Machine, Nucleus developed from a jazz-orientated outfit into a more progressive, fusion-based collective(in later years the group would come to be known as 'Ian Carr & Nucleus) with later albums, such as 1976's 'Alley Cat', adding electronics to the already eclectic brew. However, their debut, which was released in 1970, remains a dense and smoky jazz album at heart, with an almost exotically bucolic sound at it's core. Opener '1916' is reminiscent of 'Kind Of Blue' era Miles Davis, as is the gorgeous acoustica of 'Twisted Track', whilst the epnymous title-track explores prog-style instrumental weirdness a la King Crimson's Bob Fripp. The albums stand-out piece, 'Torrid Zone', is a highly-charged and emotive composition, featuring a collection of ultra-talented musicians charging through reams of jazz-fusion and running the gamut from cool & funky to hot & furious and back again via quieter, mellower inflections. 'Elastic Rock' is, with the possible exception of their sophomore-effort 'We'll Talk About It Later', Ian Carr and co's most complete long-player. The album combines many disparate elements, some more akin to Jazz than others, but never repeats itself or dwells too long in any one mood or section. Eahc piece is carefully-constructed and expertly-composed, with acoustic and steel guitars, heavy basses, trumpets, saxophones, drums and keyboards all swinging to the same improvisational/experimental beat. The original album is now a highly sought-after collectible, and the German-based label Repwertoire Records have released a beautifully-wrought special edition original vinyl- replica CD edition featuring superbly remastered sound and an interesting and informative booklet about the album. Those lucky enough to own an original Vertigo copy hold in their hands a special album that marked an early-creative high-point for the British jazz-fusion movement. Ian Carr, radicalised like so many by the innovative free-funk-jazz experiments of Tony Williams, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancok et al, has, along with his tightly-knit group of players created an authentically old-style-sounding jazz record peppered with un-pretentious new- jazz asides. Imagine 'Take Five' crossed with 'Bitches Brew' and your almost there. Without a doubt, the original and the most compelling album that 'Nucleus' produced. ST
stefro | 5/5 |

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