The Birth of the Fuse, XIV: popular history tells us that Fusion began with Miles Davis’ seminal Bitches Brew album, but it’s easy to overlook the fact that other musicians were thinking along the same lines around the same time. British jazz trumpeter Ian Carr - de facto leader of the equally seminal UK fusion band Nucleus - states in the liner notes to Live that his band not only predated Weather Report but also BB. Carr’s approach is similarly open-ended (to Miles’) but quite a bit more rhythmic (though there’s not too much in the way a the influence of funk/R&B) - the band mines a relentless groove on the group-composed "Dortmund Backtrack," which features some scorching solos from sax-guy Brian Smith and guitarist Ray Russell (a great, chunky sound he has), then contrasts sharply with "Elastic Rock" which recalls the spacious, electric Davis of later years, albeit touch with a bit more of the "free" style of the period (i.e., Pharaoh Sanders, Sonny Sharrock). Another recommendable point of this set is the inspired, searing, Coltrane-meets-the Master Musicians of Jajouka oboe of Karl Jenkins, who like some other members of Nucleus would end up in an edition of Soft Machine. As this band was under-exposed on this side of the Atlantic the first time 'round, lovers of the promise Fusion held in the early 1970s - before bloat, wank and lowest-common-denominator funk set in - should put this 2-CD set at the top of their shopping list; lovers of (and players in) the "jam bands" of today should indeed give this a try, to hear the still-sturdy roots of that sound.