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Nucleus - Elastic Rock CD (album) cover

ELASTIC ROCK

Nucleus

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.96 | 73 ratings

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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Ever heard of Elastic Rock?

To know that this was released in 1970 really makes you scratch your head and think "Hey, wasn't Miles Davis still exploring the rock field by this time?" Nucleus alongside The Soft Machine and a pair of others were ahead of Davis in terms of really fusing rock with jazz rather than jamming and experimenting like the latter was doing, however Miles was way ahead in terms of production techniques and other assorts and he definitely made more innovative stuff later on that no other fusion band did.

Nucleus' debut entitled Elastic Rock is jazz rock at its rawer stage, but that's the main attraction of this album; the compositions are not really complex, they're like concise rock jams with lots of jazz vibrations, even the sound is rather primitive, with a very clean guitar and subtle Fender Rhodes. Don't expect the highly complex fusion of The Mahavishnu Orchestra or the more polished fusion of Return to Forever. British jazz rockers, Nucleus, really made what Miles Davis released a year later, A Tribute To Jackson, heck even the same instruments are on board: trumpet, sax, keyboards, bass, guitar and drums (Nucleus added the oboe!).

Ok, Jenkins is no Hancock, Spedding is no McLaughlin, Marshall is no Cobham, and so on, but these guys still pulled-off an incredible jazz rock set of tunes that are not really far from the blast-off that A Tribute to Jack Johnson would later be, at times Elastic Rock even sounds more elaborate than the more improvised Davis record. The thirteen tunes range from gentle jazz ('Taranaki'), to solo sections for either guitar or drums ('Striation' and 'Speaking for Myself..'), to rockin' jams with catchy riffs and great interplay between guitar, trumpet, sax and oboe ('Torrid Zone'), to spacey jazz in the likes of In a Silent Way ('Stonescape').

4 stars: This album is indeed excellent and worthy of addition to any jazz rock collection, especially for someone who likes the less technical fusion. This is really a forgotten gem from the genre, Ian Carr & Co, did a splendid job here. And although their sophomore effort is probably more elaborated called We'll Talk About It Later, I still prefer Elastic Rock for its pure energy and sound.

The Quiet One | 4/5 |

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