Ian Carr, Feb 23rd, and the tape under the bed

Tickets for the Queen Elizabeth Hall for the tribute to Ian Carr (1933-2009) on Tuesday February 23rd are selling fast. The front stalls have sold out. The concert is being produced by George Foster, a lifelong friend of Ian Carr, and by John Cumming of Serious.

The concert will start with a short set by Carr pupil Nikki Yeoh, followed by a set from Michael Garrick ‘s band, featuring Norma Winstone, Henry Lowther, Art Themen, Dave Green and Trevor Tompkins, and (hopefully) Don Rendell.

The second half features Carr’s Northumbrian Sketches, with Guy Barker, and a string ensemble, conducted by Michael Gibbs, who is travelling specially from Spain.

There will be a set from Nucleus Revisited featuring guests John Marshall and Ray
both making very rare appearances.



There is a good story behind a previously unreleased recording which is being issued to coincide with the concert.

George Foster was running the UCL (University College London) Jazz Society in December 1966, and put on a Monday night gig by the Don Rendell/ Ian Carr band at the UCL Students Union. Which he recorded.

He moved house several times, and assumed, understandably, that he’d lost the tape.
Carr and Foster’s friendship endured, and in 2007 it was Foster who, among others, was responsible for helping Carr to move into a care home.

Foster writes:

” I had power of attorney together with a few others, signed before his Alzheimer’s had incapacitated him.

As we cleared out his flat in Brixton I discovered a box of tapes under his bed. In it was the tape I had thought lost forever. I reclaimed it and let a few peopel have copies. I rang round the musicians involved and sent them a CD copy, but we all thought it unreleasable.

With help from Duncan Heining and Mike King of ReelRecordings, the recording has been re-mastered.”

Foster also describes his memories of the gig:

“On 12th December, they were relaxed, enjoying themselves, taking risks and pushing their own and each others’ capacities hard. “Hot Rod” is available in several recorded versions, but none are like this. The band achieves an up-tempo wildness threatening to disintegrate into chaos, pushing the music to the edge of incoherence and deftly pulling it back again. Michael’s piano solo is a tour-de-force, dazzling and at the same time hilarious. The under-rated Tony Reeves was an occasional replacement for Dave Green, and fitted perfectly, but was to go down another road with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and Jon Hiseman’s Colosseum.

Great as the studio recordings are, this is the Rendell-Carr Quintet as I remember it: Trevor and Dave grinning as they pushed the music harder while always seeming to have more power in reserve; a mild-looking neatly-suited Don producing amazing walls of sound (listen to his breaks at the end of “Carolling”); Ian swaying with the music and using a plunger mute on “Trane’s Mood” like Bubber Miley; on the same tune Michael beginning what sounds like a dainty dance and develops into a race for life.
If you never heard this band in the flesh, you are in for a treat or maybe even a shock, for this was a very hot band and that Monday Night they burst into flames.

It does have a great, live, really-going-for-it feel, and all the announcements between the tracks.

With the agreement of the musicians, royalties on the CD will go to The Alzheimer’s Research Trust in Cambridge to fund medical research into Alzheimer’s.

Stamford Audio are also issuing a double vinyl for the collectors market,
The CD will be available from March 8th from Play.com.

Categories: miscellaneous

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