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Phil Miller - Cutting Both Ways CD (album) cover


Phil Miller


Canterbury Scene

4.13 | 44 ratings

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Squire Jaco
4 stars Well, I was brought to this cd by an urge to hear more stuff by the guitarist for National Health, Hatfield and the North, and other Canterbury bands - Phil Miller. "Cutting Both Ways" (1987) is technically his band In Cahoots, though they do not use this moniker anywhere on the cd. This is a great look back at the classic 1970's Canterbury school of prog, with a much more mature and jazzier feel to it. Great cd.

Joining Miller is Pip Pyle (drums), Dave Stewart (keys), Barbara Gaskin (vocals) Hugh Hopper (bass), Elton Dean (sax) and Pete Lemer (keys). This 50-minute cd starts off with a fantastic 15-minute suite that features some great soloing from Miller, Lemer and Dean. Typical of the NH and HATN format, much of this music - even the soloing to an extent - is composed rather than improvised. I like that about this music; there tends to be something new and intricate to discover in the music every time you listen to it.

I should point out that the 4th and 5th tracks are basically just Miller and Stewart, with Stewart playing layers of keys and "programming". They are very well done, so don't get scared off. One complaint I might make is that the production is not great - just a bit flat in spots (e.g. the two Miller/Stewart songs), with a very distant bass sound. But certainly nothing to dissuade one from enjoying the great music flowing forth.

I'm now encouraged to investigate some of the other In Cahoots material. I hope you will be too...

Squire Jaco | 4/5 |


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