Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Ian Carr, British Trumpeter and Author, Dies at 75

Ian Carr, a British trumpeter with the band Nucleus and author of books on Miles Davis and Keith Jarrett, died in London on Feb. 25. A cause was not given, however Carr had undergone a long illness. He was 75.

Born April 21, 1933, Carr began his career in Newcastle in the 1950s as a member of his brother Mike’s band the EmCee 5. After moving to London he performed in the band of Harold McNair and then teamed with Don Rendell to form the Rendell Carr Quintet, which recorded five albums for Columbia Records. He also recorded with the New Jazz Orchestra and Neil Ardley before forming Nucleus in 1969. The early fusion band’s ranks at various times included progressive-rock mainstays Allan Holdsworth, Jack Bruce and Chris Spedding. The band recorded albums for Vertigo, Capitol and other labels, and such played highly regarded jazz festivals in Newport and Montreux.

Carr spent the ’80s working not only with Nucleus but with many other British jazz outfits, including the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble.

He also firmly established his credentials as an author, penning biographies of Davis and Jarrett as well as co-editing The Rough Guide to Jazz and Music Outside, an account of British jazz. He was also a co-author of The Essential Companion to Jazz, was also involved with documentary TV films on Davis and Jarrett, and appeared on many BBC jazz radio programs and ran workshops.

Carr reformed Nucleus in the new century and recorded a handful of albums with the new lineup.

(View the reformed Nucleus performing live.)

Beginning in 1992, Carr also wrote a monthly column for BBC Music Magazine. He also served as an associate professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Dance and recorded albums with other British musicians until undergoing a series of strokes and becoming afflicted with Alzheimer’s.

Originally Published