21 April 2013 - Today is the 80th anniversary of the birth of the late, great Ian Henry Randell Carr
9 April 2013 - A review by Vincent Carr of Saturday's concert at the Sage Gateshead of the first North East England performance of Ian Carr's 'Northumbrian Sketches' can be viewed here.
25 February 2013 - Rare archive footage of Nucleus from 1972 has been hosted by the Flemish public broadcaster VRT on its website. It features Ian Carr (trumpet, flute), Alan Jackson (drums), Roy Babbington (bass), Dave McRae (keyboards) and Karl Jenkins (oboe). To view the footage click here.
25 February 2013 - Remembering the late, great Ian Carr, who passed away four years ago today.
9 January 2013 - Duncan Heining has just written an article for The Independent on why jazz is always the Cinderella of the arts in the U.K. It can be viewed here
30 November 2012 - One of the most important British jazz albums ever recorded is being reissued for the first time on CD. Neil Ardley's "A Symphony of Amaranths", one of the composer's major works, is being reissued for the first time on CD since its original release in 1971. Amongst the stellar line-up of musicians who appear on the album are names such as Henry Lowther, Harold Beckett, Derek Wadsworth, Ray Premru, Barbara Thompson, Dave Gelly, Don Rendell, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Stan Tracey, Karl Jenkins, Alan Branscombe, Frank Ricotti, Chris Laurence, Jeff Clyne, Jon Hiseman plus vocals from Ivor Cutler and Norma Winstone. This reissue is limited to 1000 copies only and is being made available on the Dusk Fire label. The official release date is 21 January 2013 but the album is also being sold from the Dusk Fire website which can be found here. Neil Ardley was Ian Carr's long-time friend and musical collaborator, and although Carr does not appear on this album he and Ardley made several significant recordings together over the course of four decades. This is a very welcome reissue.
24 November 2012 - Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2013 Announced (5-7 April 2013)
The Gateshead International Jazz Festival, the largest UK festival held under one roof, has just announced its headline acts and themes for 2013 including the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Lighthouse, Phronesis, Christine Tobin, Ruby Turner and The Brand New Heavies. The festival will take place in the spectacular surroundings of The Sage Gateshead on Friday 5th – Sunday 7th April 2013 and tickets go on sale on Friday 7th December. The North is a key theme for the festival, interpreted in various ways. Saturday night’s Hall One concert presents two jazz suites inspired by the North East of England – ‘Northumbrian Sketches’, written in the 1980’s by Newcastle jazz musician/composer Ian Carr in its first ever North East performance, and ‘Songs to the North Sky’, written in 2012 by Tim Garland, resident in the region. Both will be performed by Northern Sinfonia orchestra of The Sage Gateshead, with jazz soloists Tim Whitehead and Henry Lowther plus award winning trio Lighthouse, featuring the award-winning pianist Gwilym Simcock. For more information click here.
7 October 2012 - A major new book on British jazz by Duncan Heining is published this month. "Trad Dads, Dirty Boppers and Free Fusioneers: British Jazz, 1960-1975" discusses all the main players in post-war British jazz and is certainly the best book to be published on this subject since John Wickes' "Innovations in British Jazz". It is highly recommended for any fans of British jazz. For a review of this book click here.
There is also a specially compiled CD to celebrate the publication of this book
which contains ultra rare and previously unheard tracks recorded by some of the artists who appear in the book (including Mike Taylor Quintet, Henry Lowther - Lyn Dobson Quintet, John Stevens Seven, Mike Osborne - John Surman Quartet, Joe Harriott Quintet, Amancio D’Silva & Don Rendell - Ian Carr Quintet, Gary Windo’s Symbiosis, Elton Dean’s Just Us, Lol Coxhill - Steve Miller, Graham Collier Music with Norma Winstone).
Check it out here
|Alyn Shipton's biography of Ian Carr 'Out of the Long Dark', was published by Equinox on 21 June 2006. Information about the book is viewable on the Equinox website here|
|Exclusive interview with Alyn Shipton, author of 'Out of the Long Dark', the biography of Ian Carr is viewable here|
images © BGO Records
Little known fact: Ian Carr recorded an album of contemporary music
with John Taylor playing organ, entitled
'Sounds and Sweet Airs' which was produced by Jon Hiseman.
This album is still available to purchase from: Discord Distribution in the UK
or from Celestial Harmonies in the USA.
Ian Carr was at the forefront of jazz music for over 40 years. He began in his home town of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, where he joined his brother Mike's modern jazz group, the EmCee Five which ran successfully from the late 1950s until the early 1960s. He then co-led the innovative modern British jazz group the Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet which released 5 albums on EMI Columbia's "Lansdowne Series" label. The Rendell-Carr Quintet is regarded by many as one of the most influential, important and original modern British jazz groups ever. After the break-up of the Rendell-Carr Quintet, which also featured pianist Michael Garrick, Ian Carr went on to form the iconoclastic jazz-rock group Nucleus, which represented the United Kingdom at the 1970 Montreux Jazz Festival and won the award for top group that year. They also played the Newport Jazz Festival in the USA on the strength of Montreux.
They released 12 albums either under the Nucleus or Ian Carr name between 1970 and 1980 and toured extensively worldwide. Carr wrote all the music for three of these albums ("Solar Plexus", "Labyrinth" and "Old Heartland" of which the first two received bursaries from the Arts Council of Great Britain) and he wrote 8 of the 9 tracks on "Out of the Long Dark". He also made significant contributions to the recordings of compositions by jazz composer Neil Ardley on the albums, "A Kaleidoscope of Rainbows" (with Nucleus), "Harmony of the Spheres" and "Zyklus" and to jazz composer and pianist Keith Tippett’s jazz orchestra Centipede on the album "Septober Energy". He was also a founder member of the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble big band which made over 10 albums between 1977 and 1999 and which continued to perform until 2002, in which year it gave a series of farewell concerts.
As an author he wrote several important books on jazz including "Music Outside" (1973) which was republished as a 2nd edition in January 2008; the authorised biography of Miles Davis, "Miles Davis: A Critical Biography" (1982) which includes a third revised edition (1998). This is considered by many to be the definitive biography of Miles Davis. He also wrote "Keith Jarrett, The Man and his Music" (1992) and was co-author of "Jazz, the Essential Companion" (1987) and "The Rough Guide to Jazz" (3rd edition, 2004).
As a broadcaster he made many appearances on BBC Radio 3 including introducing a six part Jazz File series on Miles Davis in 2001. He was Programme Consultant for Mike Dibb's two-part Channel 4 television documentary "The Miles Davis Story", screened in April 2001. This attracted a record television audience for jazz of 1.2 million viewers. Similarly, he was consultant on Mike Dibb's documentary "Keith Jarrett - The Art Of Improvisation", screened on Channel 4 in December 2004.
He was also an inspiring teacher and Associate Professor of Jazz at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He also taught at the Weekend Arts College for groups of young jazz musicians in North London and many of today’s jazz stars, such as pianist Julian Joseph and vocalist Cleveland Watkiss (both of whom performed at a tribute concert for Carr held at the Guildhall School of Music in November 2006) were inspired by him for his boundless enthusiasm and encouragement.
In May 2001, Ian Carr joined his old partner Don Rendell for a reunion concert playing to a packed foyer audience at the Royal Festival Hall, in one of several concerts celebrating 50 years of the South Bank.
The trumpeter, composer and author Ian Carr was one of the United Kingdom’s most important figures in contemporary jazz music. As a musician, his contribution to jazz was exceptional and his musical legacy remains a huge influence on generations of musicians and audiences who often have been drawn to the many layers of jazz through an initial interest in Ian Carr’s music. His performances and recording work with his first major group, the Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet in the 1960s made him a legendary figure. However, it was his later group Nucleus which was responsible for spearheading a huge revival in modern jazz music in the 1970s. Ian Carr passed away on Wednesday 25 February 2009, aged 75. However, his legend, his music and his indomitable spirit live on...
"The Nucleus File - Evolution: Ian Carr formed Nucleus in
October 1969 to enable individual members to express themselves
as fully as possible and explore different ways of grooving.
The band, which has always been based in London,
started with Ian (trumpet/flugelhorn), Karl Jenkins (piano, baritone, oboe),
Brian Smith (saxes, flute), Bernie Holland (guitar),
Jeff Clyne (bass, bass guitar) and John Marshall (drums)"
Source: Melody Maker Factfinder Series, 19 April 1975, p.48
Roots - The Early Days of Ian Carr and The EmCee Five:
Click here to go to the Roots page
Awakening - Various Nucleus and Ian Carr press releases and associated photos:
Click here to go to the Awakening page
Images - Some images of Nucleus and Ian Carr-related bands:
Click here to go to the Images page
Labyrinth - A selection of Nucleus links, discographies, reviews, etc:
Click here to go to the Labyrinth page
Old Heartland - For the archive of Nucleus news:
Click here to go to the Nucleus News Archive page
Things Past - A look back at some Nucleus gigs over the past 30 years:
This site was devised by me as a long overdue tribute to the genius of Ian Carr and his colleagues in Nucleus
in November 2002. Please feel free to email me (Roger Farbey) or if the link doesn't work just cut and paste this email address into your email outbox: email@example.com
Site last updated 21 April 2013