Apart from a single gig in Brentwood in January 1992 supporting the John Etheridge Quartet (including at the time two past and future members of In Cahoots, keyboardist Steve Franklin and drummer Mark Fletcher), In Cahoots remained largely inactive following their tour of Japan in December 1991, for which Pete Lemer had temporarily rejoined the band.
Having concentrated on Short Wave (with Pip Pyle, Hugh Hopper and Didier Malherbe) on the live front in 1992, Phil reactivated In Cahoots in 1993 to perform and record an new set of material, which also included contributions by both Elton Dean and Fred Baker. A European tour in March 1993 served as dress rehearsal for recording sessions which took place at Gérard Lhomme’s Studio de Chennevières, a stone’s throw from Pip’s house. The results would be released in 1994 as Recent Discoveries, the first studio release by the band not to be shared with non-band collaborations by Phil with Dave Stewart, John Mitchell and others.
The gig presented here took place just after the studio sessions, the new material (which formed the bulk of the set) still untitled, at the well-known Parisian jazz club, the New Morning. This was to remain the only time In Cahoots ever performed at the club, although Phil had played there twice with Short Wave.
“This excellent quality DAT tape was digitised by Herm from Phil’s private collection of numerous DATs. This is a line up of In Cahoots without any keyboards at all leaving Phil as the sole chordal voice in a music which is packed with dense harmonic information (of course the bass player can always have a bit of go with chords too but it’s probably courtesy to make it clear that it’s the same money). It is testament to the quality of the compositions that Phil has chosen his chording in this format to be sparse and understated enough to put fuller focus on the horn lines, this bringing a fascinating new perspective on the In Cahoots music and interaction of the musicians. Jim’s sound in particular really rings out throughout.
One of the earlier highlights for me, in Elton Dean’s Riffy, is is a sure footed bass solo from Fred of truly orchestral ambition and impeccable execution. Phil’s composition Tide swings gently sweet and sour. Fred again in most lyrical form before Phil’s positive and blaring fanfare of a solo. His tone familiarly thick but with the added sizzle of single coil pick ups. This detail reveals Phil is using his Roland guitar synth. This also enables him to occasionally fill out the sound with brass and string patches as the keyboards normally would.
In the second set and liberated from horn line supporting duties, Phil attacks his first solo with such an attitude that within a few bars he has lost himself and is spinning out the kind of cosmic lines that go beyond mere notes and into a space of pure incandescence. In his second solo we find out he was just warming us up gently…
The other DAT mysteriously but correctly named ‘The other tape’ is a free blow that kicks off with serious menace and intention and is revealed as a springboard for a Green and Purple that you could dry your hair to, so you would be well advised to stand back a bit!”
The line up was:
Phil Miller– electric guitar, guitar synth
Jim Dvorak – trumpet
Elton Dean – saxello, alto sax
Fred Baker – bass guitar
Pip Pyle – drums