Review

Ian Carr’s Nucleus

Roots

Be With • 2021

Ian Carr? Never heard of him? However, the trumpeter was one of the great jazz fusionists in the United Kingdom and, in as early as 1969, was one of the first to become involved in crossing styles and genres in this field, parallel to and unaware of Miles Davis’ innovations. In England at that time, too, this mainly meant adding funk and rock. They were still dominant on »Roots« from 1973, which was released by Vertigo, the progressive rock offshoot of Philips. And »Roots« was certainly rocking. Although not exclusively. The title track features a good nine minutes of elastic funk rhythms with a proper brass section and parallel solos such as guitar and trumpet. They flow well together, and the rest of the band also distributes its resources very efficiently as a collective. When the voice of Joy Yates is heard on »Images«, the band takes a step back and makes us think of a soul ballad in terms of dynamics, which is compensated for with some surprising harmonic turns. In addition to dense, massive prog-jazz monoliths (»Caliban«), »Whapatiti« even produces a hip-springing samba. Everything fits perfectly together. Nothing arbitrary, just a band that is flexible in the best sense and not afraid to show it. Although Vertigo had largely digitised its portfolio in the nineties, »Roots«» was not among the reissues. Thankfully, Be With have now made up for that, on vinyl.

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Ian Carr's Nucleus
Roots
from 24.99€