Saturday, November 19, 2016

Ian Carr's Nucleus 1980 Awakening

Genre: Progressive Jazz
Rate: 192 kbps CBR / 44100
Time: 00:46:02
Size: 63,35 MB

United Kingdom

Nucleus' last studio album (to my knowledge anyway), featuring the returning Brian Smith, the faithful Geoff Castle and the new-coming Merchan and France in the rhythm section, Awakening is a rather unusual album. Released in a very different era, the music is generally softer and axed a tad more towards electronic keyboards (a bit like Neil Ardley's Harmony Of The Spheres, to which Carr had participated with Geoff Castle the previous year) and if Ian apparently wrote most tracks, I'm sure his keyboardists contributed heavily to most of the tracks, even getting his own composition White City Blues on the album. Having lost its Vertigo/Phillips recording contract (for whatever reasons), Nucleus had found refuge on a German label Mood and the group would go on to mostly play live episodically until roughly the mid-80's (including a BBC broadcast on the Pretty Redhead release), but the general excitement was lost since a long while ago. Awakening was released with a grim grey & black photo-shoot of the band on some kind of fire escape stairs, which probably portrays well the situation at the time.

If the 10-mins opening title track holds still some of the fire of the Nucleus of yesteryear, the following Midnight Oil is a bit of a snooze-fest, where Merchan's fretless bass , where Castle's gentle Moog and Korg play a predominant roe, despite being a bit embedded in the mix. The same Castle opens Mutatis Mutandis on his Rhodes, but the feeling is gentle, despite an energetic rhythm, but it seems that the production softened of the natural attack of the band. The Castle-penned WCB track is well within the album's soundscape, and is actually more energetic than most its companion-pieces, despite a flawed Moog-organ imitation. As the Things Past might suggest, the 10-mins track is a reflective soft and calm ballad piece that sounds standard-jazz enough to reminisce of his Redell-Carr Quintet days (65-69), although that band was not always as straight-jazz as one might think. Well if the track starts a bit aloof, it gets more involved around the second half, leaving a good aftertaste once the disc stops. (Sean Trane)


01 - Awakening 10:17

02 - Midnight Oil 06:28

03 - Mutatis Mutandi 05:49

04 - White City Blues 07:12

05 - Things Past 10:00

06 - You Can't Be Serious - You Must Be Jocking 06:16

Gamble for more Ian Carr's Nucleus

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