Phil Miller - In Cahoots — Parallel
(Crescent Discs CD4CD, 1996, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 1997-05-01
Canterbury guitar god Phil Miller's eighth post-National Health album is another notch in the tree for the player as composer. Phil seems to be on a sideways trend as he gets older to downplay his wonderful torn, angsty style in favor of jazzy interplay between the excellent musicians in his ensemble. This is enjoyable most of the time, since we still get to experience Elton Dean's sax playing in a more melodic and satisfying context than the free blowing outings he's known for. Pip Pyle, Miller's consistent childhood musician friend who has his hand in most of Phil's bands (including Hatfield and the North), always pushes things a bit keeping the timing crisp in the set. The newest element in this line-up, whom I'm only now appreciating, is trumpet player, Jim Dvorac. He first appeared on the Live in Japan disc from 1991, when I was not certain he fit in well with what I believed to be the direction of the group. I thought the scales tipped too heavy in his favor and the balance was lost, performing fewer heavy tracks. A clue in this course is Miller's Digging In which featured MIDI guitar with much of it very brass like. Now, Miller is apparently more satisfied with Dvorac taking the lead responsibility and only occasionally walking into the solo spotlight (as on "Half Life"). Personally, I prefer a little more brutality, Phil, though your composing is still getting more advanced. Thanks for the group disc, I'll adjust, a little... Maybe.
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more