One of the spin-offs from the Phil Miller Tribute Concert that we arranged after Phil died, was Aymeric Leroy’s idea of a series of interviews of the musicians performing at the concert. I bought three Sony Camcorders and we organised an interviewing suite at Colvestone Crescent using Phil’s Edirol recorder and two tripods that I borrowed, with myself operating the hand-held camera for close-ups. Aymeric made many trips from France to do these interviews which we conducted over several days interviewing two or three musicians on each of his visits. You will have seen the short excerpts that Aymeric made from this series. Presented here are the full-length versions.
Mark Hewins first met Phil when he was in his first band: Mother’s Son at the age if 16 and was amazed to find himself playing at the same venue as Hatfield & The North,
SARAH GAIL BRAND
Sarah Gail Brand, the trombone player who joined the 20 other musicians who came together in January 2019 to celebrate the Life In Music of Phil Miller at his tribute concert at the Vortex, London.
Although John and Phil never played together, they knew each other well and John played at Phil’s Tribute Concert on 6th Jan 2019 at the Vortex. John is too well known to need any introduction.
Theo first shared the stage with In Cahoots at the London Astoria Progeny Festival on the 15th November 2003 featuring Liam Genockey on drums and Mark Fletcher on percussion. The second occasion was on the 17th April 2004 at the London Borderline with Phil Miller, Richard Sinclair, Andy Ward, Mark Hewins and Alex Maguire. This was followed later in the month on 24th and 25th in Gouveia, Portugal with Phil, Richard, Theo and Andy Ward. On 29th January 2005 the Richard Sinclair Band played in Whitstable at the Horsebridge Arts Centre featuring Phil, Rich, Theo, Alex Maguire and Roy Dodds with Pip Pyle guesting on drums. The same year on 18th March, In Cahoots with Simon Finch on trumpet and Theo Travis on tenor sax and flute replacing Elton Dean and Jim Dvorak, shared the stage at the Mean Fiddler gig with the reformed Hatfield and the North: Phil, Richard, Alex and Pip.
Paul Dufour was the drummer in Jack Monck’s band – Jack Monck and Friends – along with Jack, Phil and Marc Hadley. This was the last of Phil’s musical involvements towards the end of his life.
Prior to rehearsals for “A Life In Music” the Tribute Concert for Phil held at the Vortex in 2019, we were very fortunate to be able to recruit Paul Dufour at short notice as the replacement drummer for Trevor Tomkins whose health problems meant he was unable to take part. Without Paul’s involvement, Mark Fletcher would have been the sole drummer on all the performances for both Concerts which would have been an impossible task. Fortunately for us Paul was able to attend all three days of rehearsals at The Premises shortly before the event, working with material he was unfamiliar with. He performed brilliantly like the pro he is.
Simon joined in Phil’s band In Cahoots in July 2005. You can watch him playing in the Phil Miller Tribute Concert on this site on Miserable Man, Fool’s Meeting, Nowadays a Silhouette, Second Sight and Nan True’s Hole.
Jack (real name Adam) Monck was one of Phil’s oldest friends. Jack, Phil and Pip Pyle – son of the Miller Family’s next- door-neighbours, who first met Phil when they both attended the same nursery school, all attended Cambridge Technical College in their teens. Together with Phil’s elder brother Steve they formed their first band Delivery in the 1960s.
This is the third from Aymeric’s interviews for this series. After the first ten minutes or so into the interview, I realised that the Edirol which was recording the audio was not switched on and the only camera that was switched on was the hand-held one that I was operating. We had to call a halt to the proceedings and start again. The spontaneity of the first start was rather lost the second time around and so I decided to use the original first ten minutes from the hand-held camera as the beginning of this interview . I apologise for the rather disjointed result.
Guitarist and composer Doug Boyle is best known for his work with Robert Plant, Nigel Kennedy and Caravan. He featured on Phil Miller’s CD Out Of The Blue, playing on Delta Borderline which Phil wrote specially for him. He played two gigs in France with In Cahoots trio comprising Phil Miller, Fred Baker and Pip Pyle, playing at the Theatre de l’Abattoire in Lillers on the first of June and at Les Naiades, St Jean-aux-Bois with surprise guest Elton Dean on the second of June 2001.
Fred Baker and Phil Miller were each other’s biggest fans. After Hugh Hopper’s departure from In Cahoots, Elton Dean recommended Fred as a replacement on the bass and Phil and Fred’s admiration for each other began. Phil described Fred as “a phenomenon!” and from then on Fred played on every gig and every record of the band with Phil writing several compositions for him using the bass as a melodic voice. This new year welcomes Fred as the new bass player in Soft Machine, replacing Roy Babbington, whose hand problems have forced him to retire. Fred was invited to join the band on Roy’s recommendation. We remember Roy from when he was the highly respected bass player in Delivery back in the 70s. Fred continues his work as a lecturer at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire where Phil’s compositions form part of their Archives.
Over the years Jeff Green has been a member of:
BLUESOLOGY with brass section Elton Dean and Marc Charig.
MEGALOPOLIS drummer Phil Howard’s response to Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew.
MIKE OSBORNE QUINTET with Harry Miller, Marc Charig and Peter Nykyruj.
CHRIS FRANCIS’ QUARTET with Paul Bridge, Mike Piggot and Tony Marsh.
INTERCONTINENTAL EXPRESS Joe Gallivan and Charles Austin’s big band withRonnie Scott, Kenny Wheeler, Roy Babbington and Paul Robinson.
JAZZ MINE QUARTET with Mick Beck, Tim Pharoah and Tony Marsh.
DANNY WRIGHT & JOHNNY VAN DEREKS’ HOT CLUB OF LONDON.
RICHARD WILLIAM’S SEXTET.
DICK CHARLESWORTH QUARTET.
POGO bassist Jim Richardson’s Be-bop quartet.
STEPHANE GRAPPELLI QUARTET with Martin Taylor and Alec Danksworth.
NIGEL KENNEDY’S WASP FACTORY with Alec Danksworth and Andy Barron.
WORK IN PROGRESS with Mike Edmonds and Laurie Lowe.
In the mid-seventies Jeff tutored at the Jazz Centre Society’s Summer School alongside
Dave Cliff, Stan Tracey, Peter Ind and Mongezi Feza. He continues to work freelance playing and recording with Brian Dee, Alan Barnes, Tommy Whittle, Warren Vache, Fapy Lafertin,
Mike Westbrook, Herbie Flowers and the Andy Aitchinson Quartet.
still to come:
yet to be interviewed: