157

Phil Miller/In Cahoots: All That

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Phil Miller/In Cahoots: All That The group known as In Cahoots, originally formed as a quartet in 1982, is aging with style. Since then it has recorded eight records, retained two players (guitarist Phil Miller and saxophonist Elton Dean), and expanded to a sextet. For those in the know, In Cahoots apparently represents the vanguard of the so-called Canterbury School of fusion, though I must confess total ignorance in this regard.

Miller plays ringleader, committing five of the seven compositions and often taking the lead when it comes to solo space. While there's plenty of emphasis on themes and heads, the tunes (from six to thirteen minutes long) tend to serve as vehicles for solo improvisation. Everyone pitches in.

The 12-minute "Inca" draws on a slowed-down chunky funk, steady as she goes from start to finish. Credit bassist Fred Baker and drummer Mark Fletcher for pinning things down in an unobtrustive fashion. Solos by Miller and Dean aim toward structure and evolution, the former mostly foregoing his ample virtuosity to develop a deliberate statement. Dean's sax playing, rather bright and scratchy in tone, assembles short phrases into an extended whole.

Other highlights include "Black Cat," an extended sunny anthem with notable solos by Miller (not holding back) and Baker (slippery and eager). "Sleight of Hand" slows things down a bit, going for a polyrhythmic pulse. "Your Root 2" takes a no-holds-barred voyage into dramatic intensity.

During certain periods scattered throughout the disc, In Cahoots tends to linger a bit much in the groove; keyboard vamps occasionally dip into the cheese. But the group deserves credit for its tightness, range, and energy. Whatever the context, this sextet milks the music for all it's worth.

Visit Phil Miller and Cuneiform Records on the web.


Track Listing: Black Cat; Big Dick; Inca; Sleight of Hand; Upside; Out There; Your Root 2.

Personnel: Phil Miller: guitar, guitar synth; Fred Baker: bass guitar; Pete Lemer: keyboards; Jim Dvorak: trumpet; Elton Dean: alto sax, saxello, C-melody sax; Mark Fletcher: drums.

Title: All That | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Cuneiform Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Antidote CD/LP/Track Review Antidote
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 29, 2017
Read The Colours Suite CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 29, 2017
Read Musical Journey Through Time CD/LP/Track Review Musical Journey Through Time
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 29, 2017
Read Gentle Giants CD/LP/Track Review Gentle Giants
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 29, 2017
Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read "Matthew Halsall: On the Go (Special Edition)" CD/LP/Track Review Matthew Halsall: On the Go (Special Edition)
by Phil Barnes
Published: July 1, 2016
Read "Fly or Die" CD/LP/Track Review Fly or Die
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "The Last Remaining Payphone in L.A." CD/LP/Track Review The Last Remaining Payphone in L.A.
by Paul Naser
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Dialectrical" CD/LP/Track Review Dialectrical
by John Sharpe
Published: June 19, 2017
Read "Schönbrunn" CD/LP/Track Review Schönbrunn
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 1, 2017
Read "Meditations on Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Meditations on Freedom
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 11, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.