20 July 2012

Steve Miller Trio feat. Lol Coxhill - Miller's Tale

Steve Miller Trio feat. Lol Coxhill - Miller's Tale
Matchless Recordings MR9 1986

I'm sure that followers of this blog cannot have failed to register the passing away of Lol Coxhill last week. Regular followers would also know that we have posted Coxhill many times in the past. So, to commemorate his passing, here is a live set from 1985 with the Steve Miller Trio. Miller and Coxhill have collaborated in the past, most notably on two lps out on the Virgin subsidiary Caroline from 1973 and 1974, respectively. These have been compiled on a double cd on the Cuneiform label, with lots of extra material from what I read. Might be well worth picking up for those who did not get the original albums. Miller and Coxhill were part of the whole Canterbury prog jazz rock scene which spawned a bunch of outfits, among others Delivery, with which both were associated, and Kevin Ayers and the Whole World which made a memorable album called "Shooting at the Moon", featuring Coxhill. Happily, some BBC sessions have recently trickled out on cd and those with long memories may recall we posted a set from Holland a while back.

While the earlier collaborations were fragmented and ad-hoc-ish, this set here is one contiguous performance spread over four sides where Miller and Coxhill are joined by Tony Moore on bass and Eddie Prevost, of AMM provenance, on drums. The Matchless label is very much alive as an outlet for AMM projects and other specimens of British improv. 

An intensely concentrated set, this one, freely improvised, no steady rhythmic backbone to discern here, Coxhill floating and gliding over the piano-led trio. Not as obviously whimsical as other Coxhill projects, but somewhat chamber-like with the type of close listening among the players one associates with the Spontaneous Music Ensemble and similar British improv combos. Not the stuff to grab you by the throat, but to gradually insinuate itself with you. A pleasant listening experience, whose rewards are acquired cumulatively. On top of it all, Coxhill's slippery soprano.

This is for blogger chum Marc down under who might not have this one (and who is a Lol aficionado, of course).

The facts:

Steve Miller Trio meets Lol Coxhill - Miller's Tale
Matchless Recordings MR9 1986

Steve Miller - piano
Tony Moore - double bass
Eddie Prevost - drums
Lol Coxhill - soprano saxophone

Side A - Nigh-and-Sly
Side B - Nether Eye
Side C - A Largeish Quart
Side D - Nowell's Flood

Recorded at a concert given at the Bull and Gate, Kentish Town, London on 11th November 1985 which was financially assisted by the Musicians' Union.

As the liner notes say; "You can hear witty barbs, serious debates, elbowing jokes, biting comments, affectionate banter, sarcastic asides and moments of repose".

More Coxhill coming up in the time to come!


kinabalu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick said...

It was very sad to hear of his death, but what a life!

BOZO the Happy Clown said...

This is an excellant album, and especially dig Steve Miller the Piano player on here - fantastic! I wish there were more albums like this in Lol's discography.There is some nice stuff on Bruce's Fingers and Loose Torque labels, if I'm not mistaken.
Bozo just ran his mouth off over LP postings, but this could be the exception! Y'all WILL enjoy!

rev.b said...

So sorry to loose Lol, but he did live to a ripe old age and left a lot of good times and good music in his wake. A well spent life me thinks.

Rev. Dr. Moller. MDMA, THC and BAR. said...

Thanks for this.

kinabalu said...

Perhaps I ought to mention that there is a parallel set of sorts with the Steve Miller Trio, recorded at the same spot and at about the same time, with Elton Dean.


kinabalu said...

All things Canterbury, including Miller and Coxhill, can be perused here:


What the site fails to tell you about Lol Coxhill, is that there is a book about him, which can be located here:


I should know. I have it.

glmlr said...

Thanks Kinabalu. A fine commemoration. I haven't listened to this record in many years.

john said...

very many thanks. Coxhill was a real individual, and I missed a lot of this music originally.

Anonymous said...

Sorely Missed indeed!!, one of the Unique musical personalities of the 20thC...
the limited edition Cassette, accompanying the first edition of Nutall's book can be found here ... iposted it several years ago and to my surprise , discovered but several weeks ago that the MP3 320 links were still alive..
Kinabalu thanks for the fine memorial....
welfare state on virgin would be very welcome, i have a very scratched copy if no one else has it.

Anonymous said...

the" bald soprano' companion here


kinabalu said...

Great hearing from you, M. Welfare State is up next. I'll be off for a couple of weeks, but should have it up once I'm back, definitely first part of August.

I have the Nuttall book ... somewhere, probably ruin it if I scan it, paperback, as I recall ... He also did Bomb Culture, and was one of the core people behind International Times (IT), from 1966 onwards.

kinabalu said...

New links:



Javier Roz said...

Thanks! I really like Mr. Coxhill.