In the late sixties the “Canterbury Scene” was the birthplace of a new style of music that was simultaneously avant-garde and melodic, improvised and written, simple and intricate, rock and jazz. It was also emphatically English. The two best known exponents were Caravan and Soft Machine.
In 1971 Robert Wyatt left Soft Machine to form his own group, Matching Mole, and chose Phil Miller as his guitarist. Later in the seventies Phil refined his composing and playing abilities as a founder member of the formidable Hatfield and the North, who later metamorphosed into National Health.
In 1982 he formed his own group, In Cahoots, which began as a purely improvising band. Now the free blowing is contained within Phil’s own complex but tuneful compositions, described in City Limits as “full off subtle melodic twists and textural shifts, without ever losing the listener along the way.”
SPLIT SECONDS confirms Phil’s status as one of England’s foremost jazz composers.
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“A rich and colourful collective mood that is as tightly woven as if it had been entirely written, an illusion established by a mixture of the leader’s deft orchestration and the improvising reflexes of the performers.” THE GUARDIAN
“Whether doubling lines with sax man Elton Dean or spinning soulful phrases out front. Miller is a captivating guitarist” GUITAR PLAYER
“Miller, always a poignant writer with a great love of jazzy chord progressions, now twists the constituent parts in even more bizarre ways, eroding the division between the composed and the improvised-orchestrating but not inhibiting.” CITY LIMITS.
“A sublime guitarist, he has come back to record rock/jazz fusion as a suspended diaphragm between past and future in which the compositions am offered in an infinite and spontaneous sequence of directions and exposed as in an exhibition of abstract paintings of delicate tones and abstract lines where the elements are mixed many times creating an extravagant sound picture. His guitar becomes the propulsive element for sumptuous escapes towards infinite horizons.” ROCKERILLA