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Nucleus - Ian Carr's Nucleus: Out Of The Long Dark CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.21 | 33 ratings

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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.
Philo | 3/5 |


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