Two jazz rock classics – back to back as a 2CD set! Solar Plexus was a pivotal album in the career of British jazzman Ian Carr
– one that had him really opening up into some trippy, spacey grooves – adding in a lot of keyboards, kicking up the grooves, yet still never losing the strong jazzy finish that was the best part of his earlier work. Players on the set include trumpeters Harry Beckett and Kenny Wheeler, guitarist Chris Spedding, and keyboardist Karl Jekins, who really throws in some groovy lines on the set! Titles include "Elements 1 & 2", "Snakehips Dream", "Torso", "Spirit Level", and "Bedrock Deadlock". Belladonna is one of the heaviest electric sets from UK trumpeter Ian Carr
– and that's really saying a lot, given how much heavy work he cut with
his group Nucleus
! The sound here is a groundbreaking mix of acoustic horns and keyboards – trumpet from Carr
, and a mix of tenor, soprano, alto, and flute from Brian Smith – coming into contact with
the Fender Rhodes of Dave MacRae and the Hohner electric of Gordon Beck! The pairing of keys is wonderful – and the whole thing is sewn together by the guitar of a young Allan Holdsworth, who's very much in the sway of Carr
's sound here, instead of the later directions he'd take as a leader. The set might be worth it alone for the massive "Summer Rain" – a slow funk track that trips along beautifully – but the whole thing's great, and other titles include "Belladonna", "Mayday", "Suspension", and "Hector's House".