Out of the Long Dark - The Life of Ian Carr - Alyn Shipton

Out of the Long Dark - The Life of Ian Carr - Alyn Shipton

List of illustrations

Out of the Long Dark - The Life of Ian Carr - Alyn Shipton

Alyn Shipton [+-]
Independent musician, author and broadcaster
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Alyn Shipton is an award-winning author and broadcaster, who is jazz critic for The Times in London, and a presenter/producer of jazz programmes for BBC Radio. He was Consultant Editor of the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, and has a lifelong interest in oral history, including editing the memoirs of Danny Barker, Doc Cheatham and George Shearing. His first biography of Fats Waller, published in 1988, has scarcely been out of print since. His life of Bud Powell (written with Alan Groves) was the first English language biography of the pianist, and his book Groovin’ High, the life of Dizzy Gillespie, won the 1999 ARSC award for the best research of the year. His monumental New History of Jazz, published in 2001, was the Jazz Journalists’ Association Book of the Year, and won Alyn the coveted “Jazz Writer of the Year” title in the British Jazz Awards. In 2003 he won the Willis Conover / Marian McPartland Award for lifetime achievement in Jazz Broadcasting. In 2010 he was named Jazz Broadcaster of the Year in the UK Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Most recently, he has been named winner of the Association of Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) Award 2014 for best pop music research for his biography of Harry Nilsson (OUP 2013). The same book won a 2014 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for musical biography. Alyn won an open scholarship to Oxford in 1972, where he read English at St. Edmund Hall. He later went on to take a PhD in music history at Oxford Brookes University. He has been a lecturer in music at Brookes (2002-3), teaching the jazz history course, and he has also given lectures on jazz and American popular music at Exeter University and at the Institute for United States Studies in the University of London. He is now lecturer in Jazz History at the Royal Academy of Music, London. Alyn divides his time between living in Oxford, UK, and deep in rural France.


Few British jazz musicians have been at the cutting edge of as many movements as the late Ian Carr. A pioneer bebop player in his youth, a colleague of Eric Burdon and John McLaughlin in the R’n’B explosion of the 60s, co-leader of one of Britain’s most innovative jazz groups - the Rendell-Carr Quintet , a free-jazz colleague of John Stevens and Trevor Watts, and the founding father of jazz rock in the UK, with his band Nucleus , Carr’s musical career alone is truly remarkable, and a one-man history of British jazz in the 60s and 70s. Add to that his work as a member of the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble , and with such distinguished leaders as George Russell, Stan Tracey and Mike Gibbs, and his work as a player seems even more remarkable. Yet Ian Carr was also one of the most perceptive critical writers and broadcasters about jazz, being not only the co-author of the Rough Guide , but also the celebrated biographer of Keith Jarrett and Miles Davis. In recent years he transformed his writing talents into making innovative and prizewinning films on the music he loved, for which he had always been a fearless and outspoken advocate, from the time of his 1973 book Music Outside . As a teacher, his pupils have included such stellar British talents as Julian Joseph, the Mondesir brothers and Nikki Yeoh. He had been a professor of jazz at London’s Guildhall School of Music since the 1980s and was founder of the jazz workshop at the Interchange arts scheme. In this full length biography, Alyn Shipton examines the fascinating mix of ingredients that comprised the man and his music, and in the process draws a vivid picture of Carr’s home region, the North-East of England, of National Service, of such literary influences as W. Somerset Maughan, of post-war continental Europe and its Bohemian arts scene, and of the London jazz world from the 1960s onwards. The book shows that jazz does not have to have an American accent to be original and innovative, and to inspire audiences all around the world.

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Shipton, Alyn. List of illustrations. Out of the Long Dark - The Life of Ian Carr. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. vi Jun 2006. ISBN 9781845532222. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=28471. Date accessed: 27 Sep 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.28471. Jun 2006

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