Exposé Online banner

Phil Miller - In Cahoots — Out of the Blue
(Crescent Discs CD5CD, 2001, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2001-07-01

Out of the Blue Cover art

Guitarist Miller, no doubt best known for his tenure with Hatfield and National Health, continues his mission with his band “In Cahoots,” represented here by two distinctly different instrumental lineups – a quartet featuring Pip Pyle (drums), Fred Baker (fretless bass), and Pete Lemer (keys), with guest guitarist Doug Boyle, and a sextet which also features Elton Dean (saxes) and Jim Dvorak (trumpet), in addition to the regular members of the quartet. As with previous releases, the music falls squarely into jazz-rock realms, perhaps this time far closer to the vocabulary of jazz (especially on the sextet material, which accounts for five of the discs seven tracks), but the key word here is right in the title: blue. The pieces here are (to varying degrees – more so with the quartet) more blues-affected than one might expect from most of Miller’s recent work, giving it a very distinct flavor. As always, his writing and playing are superb, offering a balanced approach playing fierce melodics off a keen dynamic jazz sensibility, keeping the long pieces energetic over the duration. Special note must be made of Baker’s remarkable fretless work, who together with Pyle maintains a busy bottom end throughout most of the proceedings. With the sextet, Miller keeps a lower profile, yielding to the flights of fancy by saxes and trumpet. While not likely to set the world on fire, the disc features plenty of fine instrumental excursions that seem to get more compelling with each listen.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 22, 2001 releases

Related artist(s): Elton Dean, Fred Thelonious Baker, Phil Miller, Pip Pyle

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Simon Phillips - Another Lifetime – Simon Phillips is a drummer who has little to prove nowadays, what with the monstrous level of playing ability he has cultivated over the years. Terry Bozzio is perhaps his closest competitor...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues