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In Cahoots - Conspiracy Theories (CD)

Genre: Jazz
Release Date: 6th August 2007

Label: Crescent Discs
Catalogue Number: CD8CD
Price: £9.99
Available: Sorry - Not currently available

In Cahoots - Conspiracy Theories

The project for recording the CD Conspiracy Theories was started in Nov 2004 and completed in July 2006. In this time In Cahoots has morphed into a multi-faceted group with a more varied personnel. The band re-defines itself by what is written for and attempted by it, and who is in it.

Out of interest all the initial track-laying and majority of the music on this CD was recorded at Eastcote Studios but most of the overdubs and all the mixing was done in my own studio. I wanted to have as much interplay as possible in general but in particular on solos. So this necessitated a good monitoring for the band playing live and Eastcote provided this.  

Fred Baker, Pete Lemer and Mark Fletcher are still at the heart of the group and therefore  this CD. Their presence ensures that I can write and record complex material and have it accurately played in the time allotted.

However, in a way the seeds for this project were sown when working with Didier Malherbe in Short Wave. I had sketched out the pieces – 5ths and 7ths, Crackpot, Find Press Enter and Freudian Triode - with him in mind. In those days  he played all the reeds and flutes, and in the studio was a one-man wind ensemble. These dense and elaborate orchestrations happened to be compatible with some other compositions I had been writing in the last few years and the project took shape from there. However, these days Didier Malherbe concentrates on the Doudouk, Soprano Sax, Ocarinas and various flutes. He rather eschews his former jazz self these days to concentrate fully on his band Hadouk.

Anyway having persuaded Didier that this recording date could be the exception to the rule things soon took shape. On 5 & 7 Didier plays Alto Sax, which today he no longer does. His sax and flute parts on  5 & 7 were recorded some time ago . To realise this project I augmented the band with Annie Whitehead (Trombone) and Simon Finch (Trumpet & Flugelhorn). They are members of the Zappatistas and therefore clearly don’t mind a challenge. I heard them play various Frank Zappa pieces with aplomb and thought they would play my parts quite easily without much rehearsal, which they duly did and much more.

Simon Picard made his contribution to the project after the initial track laying in Nov 04. He played with In Cahoots in July 05. His sound and melodic sense is renowned and blends well with Didier’s Soprano. He forms a brilliant front line with Simon Finch for the band as it will appear in December.  

With Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin providing the tuned percussion and vocals parts the piece 5 & 7 harks back to our collaborations on Figures of Speech (Cutting both Ways).

On  this same tune Doug Boyle plays the majority of the  guitar parts including some rather fast and tricky ninetuplets.  Doug’s supple legato technique makes them sound clean and natural. 

Richard Sinclair makes a cameo appearance on Fretless Bass, on Lydiotic.

This tune is an acknowledgement, although heavily disguised, in the direction of George Russell and his book the Lydian Chromatic Concept that was interesting reading for me at the time of Matching Mole.

Orinaca, which is written by Pete with Didier playing on Ocarina. It, is a sort of world music departure for In Cahoots and features a powerful solo from Pete.

Fred’s piece End of the Line was written for his father who was a guitarist of stature and has a flowing solo from the author with intricate brushwork accompaniment from Mark Fletcher. Extreme virtuosity in the bass department is required on bass tune feature Flash Point, which ends with an emphatic drum solo from Mark Fletcher. On the title track Conspiracy Theories Didier’s solo shows him in fine form while Mark negotiates the rather frequent tempo and feel changes with consummate ease.


Phil Miller 

Conspiracy Theories
Press Find Enter
End of the Line
Freudian Triode


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