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Phill Miller’s In Cahoots: All That

In Cahoots has been around for a while now and comprises a collection of unique personalities associated with the British experimental rock scene of the ’70s such as guitarist Phil Miller (Matching Mole, Hatfield & the North) and saxophonist Elton Dean (Soft Machine). All That (Cuneiform) is In Cahoots’ eighth album, and it features the band’s engaging blend of jazz improvisation and rock rhythms. You get the feeling that Phil Miller is a closet Black Sabbath fan and that he, bassist Fred Baker and drummer Mark Fletcher-but for admirable self-control-are on the verge of jumping headlong into some parallel heavy-metal universe. On extended compositions like “Black Cat” and “Sleight of Hand” they nevertheless settle into comfortable grooves featuring Jim Dvorak (Brotherhood of Breath, John Stevens) on trumpet and Dean’s singular soprano playing. In fact Dean’s playing is the perfect antidote to the tendency of fusion to overcomplicate; he has a knack for making his contributions count, much like he did years ago with Soft Machine.

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