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

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Alma - Sobre Fantasías – There appears to be an emerging group of excellent South American bands, one of the more recent being Alma from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The band members Carlos Lucena (guitars, bass, and programming)...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues