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Solar Plexus

Ian Carr with The Nucleus

℗ 1971 Vertigo Records 6360 039

℗ 2013 barin.livejournal.com BR LLJ 82204 1

Ian Carr with The Nucleus • 1971 • Solar Plexus

This album is definitely a highlight in the Nucleus discography, and the first one where Ian Carr has complete control over the compositions. As Hugues already stated, this album was written under an arts council grant and according to Carr himself, is based on two themes stated at the beginning of the album. Marshall, Clynne, Spedding, and Jenkins still have a prominent role throughout the album.

As stated before, the first track on side one, introduces two themes that would reoccur later on the album. Keith Winter makes an apparence on the VCS3 synth. "Changing Times" is perhaps my favorite piece on the album; it's very funky, upbeat, and catchy. "Bedrock Deadlock" features the great Jenkins on oboe (I have a soft spot for his oboe playing) and Clynne on the double bass. "Spirit Level," which includes an interesting bass clarinet solo, closes out the first side.

Side two starts with a very upbeat, somewhat Latin sounding piece, probably due to Marshall's and Karan's percussion (by the way, that reccuring Marshall drum solo appears on this track). "Snaekhip's Dream," the final track, is named afert a particular dancer who Ian Carr is apparently fascinated with, seeing as he titled a later album after the same dancer. This final piece attempts to combine the two themes stated at the beginning of the album, and is for the most part successful. It even ends with Mr. Winter back on the VCS3 synth.

This album is an obvious must-have for every Nucleus fan, as all the early efforts are. This is of interest to any British jazz-rock/fusion fan or really any one interested in getting into Nucleus, although I advise the first album is the best place to start. 4 stars, excellent early Nucleus effort, but still not quite as good as the first two albums. — Zac M.

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