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Nucleus

Solar Plexus (LP)

Label: Tapestry Records

Format: LP

Genre: Jazz

Out of stock

* Laminated Gatefold Cover. Limited Edition of 500 copies * Is there anything more annoying than cheesy dated seventies sound effects starting off an album? Probably, but luckily enough Nucleus' third album has some good pieces of music that will allow us to forgive Carr, or whoever's idea it was was, to add such nonsense at the start. "Elements 1 & 2" are nothing but time wastage. For this album, Nucleus rely less on Karl Jenkins compositions as Carr himself takes the bull by the horns and more or less has complete control of the writing of the music, and once it kicks in it feels very different than the previous two albums. There is a more swinging feel of jazz to the music, a big solid grove is bleeding all over "Changing Times" with a cool funky rhythm stepping into the tune. "Bedrock Deadlock" contains some melancholic air from Jenkins oboe which is augmented with Jeff Clyne's deep cello sound (there is an instrument credited as a contra bass?) before taking the shape of a simple two part riff which gives the musicians room to solo at will to build and flow. More than anything, there is a very complete feeling with Solar Plexus.

All the parts come together in a very tidy fashion, especially when compared with either Elastic Rock or We'll Talk About It Later, and since Carr was responsible for writing all the material here it would look as if he had a tight concept to work from, which is unusual since this album came a mere three or four months after We'll Talk About It Later, though for the initial pair of albums Carr was only credited with five tunes. Carr must have been working on the structure for this work quietly (apparently the music was composed on a piano), and while he looked to taking charge of Nucleus the band band were about to fragment. Jenkins would be the first to leave, and would join Soft Machine, but a few more would follow by the time Nucleus would get another album out, coincidently it appeared as Belladonnna and credited to just Ian Carr, though it has all the hallmarks of Nucleus albeit with a new line up.

Of the original line up Solar Plexus is about the most successful and satisfying Nucleus album. The album is more akin to a jazz album loosely based on a rock foundation rather than jazz fusion jamming. A quick listen to "Spirit Level" and the lengthy "Snakeships Dream" will leave the listener in no doubt that the band were onto something cool, but due to the financial constraints and the lack of any commercial success the original Nucleus band were destined to break.

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