Ian Carr

Ian Randell Henry Carr (* April 21, 1933 in Dumfries, Scotland, † February 25, 2009 in London) was a British jazz trumpeter and flugelhorn player. Since 1982 he was an associate professor of jazz at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Life and work

Carr received as a child piano and trumpet lessons before studying literature from 1952 to 1956 in Newcastle upon Tyne; In 1954, he won with the college band an award at the annual jazz competition in Liverpool. After his military service, he hitchhiked through Europe two years, worked as a language teacher and tried his hand as a novelist. As of late 1959, Carr was at first like John McLaughlin to EmCee 5, his brother's band, the pianist and vibraphonist Mike Carr. In 1962 he moved to London, where he first played at Harold McNair, from 1963 to 1969 in the Ian Carr, Don Rendell Quintet and the New Jazz Orchestra. He then briefly worked with John Stevens, Keith Tippett, Trevor Watts, but also with Mike Westbrook and Eric Burdon.

Known in Central Europe it was first founded in 1969 by his band Nucleus, which is regarded as a pioneer of jazz Rocks, 1970 the first prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival, won existed until the mid-1980s and toured the world. There he played partly keyboards. Since 1975, Carr was also a permanent member of the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble. In 1987 he was also active as a soloist of the NDR Bigband and between 1989 and 1993 several times on tours with the ensemble of George Russell. As a studio musician, he works with Nico, No-Man and Faultline. With John Taylor on the church organ he took in the Southwark Cathedral 1993 Duoplatte on.

Carr was also a jazz critic for the BBC Music Magazine and author of books on Keith Jarrett and Miles Davis, are among the classics of jazz biographies, and co-author of the Rough Guide to Jazz. With director Mike Dibb, he created the television films The Miles Davis Story ( Emmy Award) and Keith Jarrett: the Art of Improvisation.

He is regarded as one of the main driving forces of the British jazz scene. On the trumpet Carr was strongly influenced by the "middle " ( modal ) Miles Davis. He was a member of the Royal Society of Music and was awarded in 1982 with the Italian " Calabria Award". For his life's work, he was established in 2006 by the British Parliament ( " Parliamentary Jazz Awards " ) as well as by the BBC ( "BBC Jazz Awards " ) honored.

During his final years he suffered from Alzheimer's and lived mostly in nursing homes. He died in the presence of his daughter Selina and his friend and fellow trumpeter Kenny Wheeler.

Discography (selection)


  • Keith Jarrett: The Man and his Music. Paladin, London 1992. ISBN 0-58-609219-6
  • Miles Davis - A Critical Biography. LIT Verlag, 1982. ISBN 3-90-670002- X
  • Miles Davis: The Definitive Biography. Harper Collins, 1999. ISBN 0-00-653026-5
  • Music Outside: . Contemporary Jazz in Britain Northway Publications, 2007 ISBN 978-0-95-509086-8 ( first edition 1973)
  • Rough Guide to Jazz. Metzler Verlag, Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 3-476-01584- X ', together with a couple Digby Fairweather, Brian Priestley