In Cahoots live at New Morning, Paris 19.03.1993
Phil Miller – guitar
Elton Dean – saxes
Jim Dvorak – trumpet
Fred Baker – bass
Pip Pyle – drums
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.
The recording begins with the gig already well underway and well warmed up judging from Elton and Pip’s glorious looseness. 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!