Nucleus (band)

Nucleus (band)

Nucleus were a pioneering jazz-rock band from Britain who continued in different forms from 1969 to 1989. In their first year they won first prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival, released the album Elastic Rock, and performed both at the Newport Jazz Festival and the Village Gate jazz club.

They were led by Ian Carr, who had been in the Rendell-Carr Quintet during the mid and late 1960s, and was a respected figure in British jazz for more than forty years. Their jazz-based music evolved from an early sound incorporating elements of progressive and psychedelic rock toward combination with a funkier sound in the mid and late 1970s.[citation needed]



Nucleus' first line-up was frontman and trumpeter Ian Carr, keyboardist/oboist Karl Jenkins, saxophonist/flautist Brian Smith, guitarist Chris Spedding, bassist Jeff Clyne and drummer John Marshall.

By their third album, the band had expanded to include trumpeters Kenny Wheeler and Harry Beckett, saxophonist Tony Roberts, bassist Ron Mathewson, percussionist Chris Karan and Keith Winter on VCS3 synthesizer. Dave MacRae joined soon after for several albums.

Over the years the band has had many members:

Recent years

In August 2005, a special one-off reincarnation of Nucleus, with old and new members, performed at London's Cargo venue. This was followed on 30 March 2007 by a Nucleus Revisited concert at London's Pizza Express Jazz Club as part of a series of concerts to mark Jazzwise magazine's tenth anniversary. Nucleus Revisited featured, amongst others, Nucleus stalwarts, Geoff Castle, Mark Wood and Tim Whitehead and on trumpet, as at the 2005 Cargo concert, Chris Batchelor. Although Ian Carr did not play due to ill health, he was present at the concert and received a standing ovation. Nucleus Revisited also appeared at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London on 4 August 2009 as part of their two week long Brit Jazz Fest. It was on a double billing with Michael Garrick's Quartet.


  • Elastic Rock 1970 - UK #46[2]
  • We'll Talk About It Later 1970
  • Solar Plexus 1971
  • Belladonna 1972
  • Labyrinth 1973
  • Roots 1973
  • Under The Sun 1974
  • Alleycat 1975
  • Snakehips Etcetera 1975
  • Direct Hits (compilation) 1976
  • In Flagranti Delicto 1977
  • Out of the Long Dark 1979
  • Awakening 1980
  • Live at the Theaterhaus 1985
  • Old Heartland 1989
  • The Pretty Redhead (recorded 1971 and 1982) 2003
  • Live In Bremen (recorded 1971) 2003
  • Hemispheres (recorded live 1970 & 1971) 2006
  • UK Tour ‘76 (recorded live at Loughborough University in 1976) 2006
  • Live In Europe 1970-71 (recorded 1970 & 1971) 2009


  1. ^ Farbey, Roger (March 2003). "Nucleus Live in Bremen". Ian Carr + Nucleus Website. Retrieved 30 December 2009. 
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 398. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links

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