NUCLEUS – Elastic Rock

Ian Carr’s Nucleus are one of the UK’s best and most famous jazz-rock bands. The line up included some of the best players in the country, with guitarist Chris Spedding joined by Karl Jenkins and John Marshall, both of whom went on to work in Soft Machine. The music was all composed by the various band members, and played with the skill that you would expect from a pedigree band. Carr’s trumpet playing owes much to the likes of Miles Davis, and works very well in the rock setting, especially on Jenkin’s compositions such as the title track and ‘Torrid Zone’. Spedding’s ‘Twisted Track’ gives Carr and Jenkins the chance to spark off each other in a trumpet and sax duel, while the band composition ‘Earth Mother’ lets the band feed off each other to produce something that is bigger than the sum of its parts. Overall not as frenetic as the Mahivishnu Orchestra, but an understated, well played fusion of jazz and rock which works on both levels.