Its Out There – Steve Miller’s K.Ostra
During its lamentably ephemeral existence between August 1997 & 1998, K.Ostra performed and recorded its seminal and definitive output. Anarchic by design, chaotic by definition, as its name implies, many moments of lyrical quality were captured. Keyboard-player Steve Miller, in the knowledge he was dying, fuelled the bands fervour. The passion, evident in his strident, sometimes-manic sweep at the keys is reflected in the performance of each player. Millers entrée onto the music business began late in the 1960’s with blues player Alexis Korner. During this time he began to write and play with his guitarist brother Phil Miller. Their band ‘Delivery’ included Roy Babbington (bass) and Carol Grimes (vocals). Steve toured Europe extensively with the Canterbury scene band ‘Caravan’ with whom he recorded one album. Between 1977 and 1998 his collaborations included Eddie Prevost, Tony Moore, Lol Coxhill, Mark Hewins, Pip Pyle, Jack Monk,
Mark Saunders, Roger Turner, B J Cole and of course members of K.Ostra. Steve Miller was a superb exponent of boogie piano, however his musical experimentation into the realms of free jazz and improvisation over the last two decades is where this album belongs. It is a rare performance of Steve playing both synthesisers and acoustic piano. Now throw away the tag and listen. Nothing here was planned or arranged, other than turning-up at the same place at the same time. The results are a lesson in unadulterated spontaneity. The ability to hear what is being said is as much the duty of the listener as it was the musicians. Although complex and challenging, to the dedicated listener, also rewarding. These tracks were recorded chronologically two months prior to Miller’s untimely death.