Ian Carr  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Ian Carr (21 April 1933 - 25 February 2009) was a Scottish jazz musician, composer, writer, and educator.

Carr was born in Dumfries, Scotland, the elder brother of Mike Carr. From 1952 to 1956, he went to King's College, now Newcastle University, where he read English Literature, followed by a diploma in education.


Musical career

At the age of seventeen Carr started to teach himself trumpet. After university he joined his brother in the Newcastle band, the EmCee Five from 1960 to 1962, before moving to London, where he became co-leader with Don Rendell of the Rendell–Carr quintet (1963–1969). In its six years, the group (including pianist Michael Garrick, bassist Dave Green, and drummer Trevor Tomkins) made five albums for EMI – all of which have been re-issued – and performed internationally.

After leaving the quintet, Carr went on to form the ground-breaking jazz-rock band Nucleus. This led to the release of twelve albums (some under the band's name, some under Carr's), and a successful international career. In their first year they won first prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival, released their first album (Elastic Rock), and performed at both the Newport Jazz Festival and the Village Gate jazz club. He also played with the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble since 1975.

Carr worked as a session musician in non-jazz contexts, with Nico, No-Man, Faultline, and others. He also doubled up on flugelhorn.

Writing and academic career

Apart from writing a regular column for the BBC Music Magazine, Carr wrote biographies of the jazz musicians Keith Jarrett and Miles Davis. He was also the co-author of the reference work The Rough Guide to Jazz which has passed through four editions from 1994 (originally Jazz, The Essential Companion, 1988). In addition he contributed sleeve notes for the albums of other musicians (eg "Indo-Jazz Fusions" by Joe Harriott/John Mayer).

In 1987, he was appointed associate professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he taught composition and performance, especially improvisation and was founder of the jazz workshop at the Interchange arts scheme, where pianist Julian Joseph, amongst others, was one of his students.


Emcee Five

  • 1961: Let's Take Five
  • 1962: Bebop from the East Coast

Rendell–Carr Quintet

  • 1964: Shades of Blue
  • 1965: Live in London
  • 1966: Dusk Fire
  • 1968: Live from the Antibes Jazz Festival (plus 1964 recordings by the Don Rendell Four and Five)
  • 1968: Phase III
  • 1969: Change Is
  • 1969: "Live"

With Don Rendell

  • 2001: Reunion


  • 1970: Elastic Rock
  • 1971: We'll Talk about It Later
  • 1971: Solar Plexus
  • 1972: Belladonna
  • 1973: Labyrinth
  • 1973: Roots
  • 1974: Under the Sun
  • 1975: Snakehips Etcetera
  • 1975: Alleycat
  • 1976: Direct Hits
  • 1977: In Flagranti Delicto
  • 1979: Out of the Long Dark
  • 1980: Awakening
  • 1985: Live at the Theaterhaus
  • 2003: Live in Bremen
  • 2003: The Pretty Redhead
  • 2006: Hemispheres
  • 2006: UK Tour '76

As leader and co-leader


Carr's bibliography

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ian Carr" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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