Although, I recently found out this album was not the Group’s final studio album, since there was a German-released Awakening album a few years after the present, Out Of The Long Dark is very much in the line of its predecessors. Out Of The Long Dark is the last album of the second full- fledged stable lie-up Nucleus group (one that had started with Under The Sun) and we’re still finding keyboardist Geoff Castle and drummer Roger Sellers, and returning to the fold, woodwind player Brian Smith. Only bassist Billy Kristian is new, replacing the usual Sutton. Great ‘proggy artwork on the artwork cover too.
Recorded hot on the heels of In Flagrante Delicto, OOTLD is almost a brother album, even though there is a general light concept feel to the present as most of the pieces on the flipside are dedicated to long-time buddy and sculptor Gerald Laing (the titles in the brackets are named after a few of his sculptures). But let’s return to the A-side with the 9-mins+ funky Lady Bountyful (inspired by his second wife) track that features long solos from Brian and Ian over a solid groove. The quieter 7-mins Solar Winds features two more percussionist, but the main theme seems to emerge from the Plexus project from almost a decade earlier, even though the groove and keyboard layers are definitely late 70’s-ish, somewhat reminiscent of his buddy Neil Ardley’s Hamony Of The Spheres, on which most of the band participated. The sensual Selina track feature some ecstatic background brass and piano riff.
As mentioned above, the flipside tracks have a bit their own life as the opening 7-mins+ title track features Brian’s flute, the 5-mins Sassy has an ultra-funky bass-line, Simply This’ disputable synth choices (the late-70’s synths were rather tacky in some cases) despite Castle’s superb Rhodes in the second part, the gentle 7-mins Black Ballad’s shifts from slow- mo ballad to mid-tempo funk and the closing trumpet requiem For Liam. Well the least we can say is that Nucleus remained a superb and relevant band all the way until the 70’s decade and that OOTLD might just be a tad better than the IFD release. Definitely worth your while if you’re into classic fusion sounds from the later-70’s. (by Sean Trane)
Ian Carr died aged 75 on 25 February 2009, having suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
Ian Carr (trumpet, flugelhorn, piano)
Geoff Castle (synthesizer, piano)
Billy Kristian (bass)
Roger Sellers (drums, percussion)
Brian Smith (saxophone, flute, percussion)
Chris Fletcher (percussion on 03.)
01. Gone With The Weed (Carr) 3.26
02. Lady Bountiful 9.14
03. Solar Wind 7.32
04. Selina 4.09
05. Out Of The Long Dark 7.28
06. Sassy (American Girl) 5.08
07. Simply This (The Human Condition) 4.30
08. Black Ballad (Ecce Domina) 6.55
09. For Liam 1.04
Music composed by Ian Carr,
except 03, which was composed by Geoff Castle
- (coming soon)
Ian Carr (21 April 1933 – 25 February 2009)