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Nucleus - Out Of The Long Dark CD (album) cover

OUT OF THE LONG DARK

Nucleus

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Philo
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars By the time Rate Out of the Long Dark had rolled by it was almost a four year gap between Nucleus studio albums. The short lived commercial popularity of jazz rock/fusion was fading fast, the music scene was a fast fragmenting and very changeable climate, and if Carr's act had not hit the mainstream jackpot by now it was never going to happen. Funny then how Out of the Long Dark has all the hallmarks of an album that could sit beside many of the more commercially successful albums of the decade. But being a few years too late seemed to be part of Nucleus's make up by default. By 1979 jazz rock fusion was a desolated plain but Carr's act were producing their most accessible music to date. Finally, a Nucleus lineup, of which there were many, got a production which was beneficial and rewarding to the music. The recording is tight, the cool quirky funk sound was coming through but so too were the trappings of the time. Disco like beats merged with [formulaic] fusion touches ("Black Ballad", "For Liam"). Stripped down to a comfortable five piece the band sounded more rounded. It was the same act who produced the live effort, In Flagrante Delicto, two years previous and so were a well honed act, probably even more so than any other Nucleus line up it could be argued. Geoff Castle's Fender Rhodes swarms over the music bringing a vibrancy, and it is Carr's trumpet which sounds out of place at times, especially on the A side, where the band are revamped, as well as the tail end of the B side. But Ian Carr and Brian Smith produce some cool solos and lines, including a fugelhorn and Smith's flute which are most impressive, making the most of the decent and smooth recording. Hints of Seven era Soft Machine, when the act at that time was being led by the former Nucleus member Karl Jenkins ironically enough, come to mind sporadically on this album, especially on the off kilt and cool opener "Gone With The Weed" and again on "Sassy". Carr reminds us of his mentor with "Selina", but "Selina" is an almost note for note refreshed version of "All Blues" from Davis' A Kind Of Blue album. Refreshed or not it is still a blatant rip off all the same. The title track is a merger of the then sounds with a fifties like sleaze approach which again would be typical of Carr's idol, Miles Davis. It could be very easy to dismiss Nucleus albums in 1979 as irrelevant, or even four to five years before this album. Out Of The Long Dark is refreshing and captures a long missing energy. The rhythm section of bass player Billy Kristian, who particularly sounds very strong, and drummer Roger Sellers certainly add a vibrancy and are always on the same page which allows Carr and Smith to work effortlessly around them. It will never be a favorite but there is a solid feeling and a good vibe with this album.

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Send comments to Philo (BETA) | Report this review (#71577)
Posted Friday, March 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars The 11th work released in 1979 "Out Of The Long Dark". The trumpet like the Miles Davis is the main, and other wind instruments and keyboards are feature crossover sounds. Work with melody powerful, mysterious extension. It is tasting different from so-called fusion and jazz. It is a sound that makes the jazz-rock work of Neil Ardley a modern jazz. There is gorgeousness like STEELY DAN, too. The synthesizer gives musical a peculiar fantasy. The theme of the first tune is a tempo improvement as for the theme of "Origins" of their fifth work "Labyrinth". The title tune is a masterpiece that similar to Neil Ardley.

Recommended to the NUCLEUS fans.The album not for the NUCLEUS biginners.

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Send comments to braindamage (BETA) | Report this review (#77452)
Posted Monday, May 08, 2006 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Trumpetist Ian Carr's -led Nucleus one of latest albums (from late 70-s).From the first listening album's music sounds too lightweight and dated with Miles Davis - style trumpet as main soloing instrument. You will need few more spins to feel it deeper, than you will possibly enjoy this brassy soft fusion.

Even if good played, this album is strange product - out of time and place. Obviously brass sound based, the music has strange vintage atmosphere: it sounds like slightly re-freshed fusion ,played by jazz musicians of early 70-s. You will hardly find there psychedelic traces or any other major progressive rock traces. Plenty of brass, post-bop influences and soft, polished sound.

Album for jazz and brass-fusion fans, still enjoying, but hardly an important progressive fusion release.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#288779)
Posted Thursday, July 01, 2010 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars Although, I recently found out this album was not the Group's final studio album, since there was a German-released Awakening album a few years after the present, OOTLD is vey much in the line of its predecessors. Out Of The Long Dark is the last album of the second full- fledged stable lie-up Nucleus group (one that had started with Under The Sun) and we're still finding keyboardist Geoff Castle and drummer Roger Sellers, and returning to the fold, woodwind player Brian Smith. Only bassist Billy Kristian is new, replacing the usual Sutton. Great 'proggy artwork on the artwork cover too.

Recorded hot on the heels of In Flagrante Delicto, OOTLD is almost a brother album, even though there is a general light concept feel to the present as most of the pieces on the flipside are dedicated to long-time buddy and sculptor Gerald Laing (the titles in the brackets are named after a few of his sculptures). But let's return to the A-side with the 9-mins+ funky Lady Bountyful (inspired by his second wife) track that features long solos from Brian and Ian over a solid groove. The quieter 7-mins Solar Winds features two more percussionist, but the main theme seems to emerge from the Plexus project from almost a decade earlier, even though the groove and keyboard layers are definitely late 70's-ish, somewhat reminiscent of his buddy Neil Ardley's Hamony Of The Spheres, on which most of the band participated. The sensual Selina track feature some ecstatic background brass and piano riff.

As mentioned above, the flipside tracks have a bit their own life as the opening 7-mins+ title track features Brian's flute, the 5-mins Sassy has an ultra-funky bass-line, Simply This' disputable synth choices (the late-70's synths were rather tacky in some cases) despite Castle's superb Rhodes in the second part, the gentle 7-mins Black Ballad's shifts from slow- mo ballad to mid-tempo funk and the closing trumpet requiem For Liam. Well the least we can say is that Nucleus remained a superb and relevant band all the way until the 70's decade and that OOTLD might just be a tad better than the IFD release. Definitely worth your while if you're into classic fusion sounds from the later-70's.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#505247)
Posted Thursday, August 18, 2011 | Review Permalink

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