Saturday, February 15, 2014

Brian Auger's Oblivion Express Closer To It! 1973

Smack dab on top of it is more like it. Driving rhythms powered by drums and congas almost a la Santana, solid bass and rhythm guitar, Auger's smoking hot organ, multitracked vocals; it all adds up to some fine jazz-soul-rock fusion.

Whenever You're Ready kicks things off with hippy vibe lyrics, multiple hot organ solos, and a spooky percussion and moog break. Happiness Is Just Around The Bend follows with spritely pop-jazz featuring Auger on electric piano. Light On The Path is a driving jazz-rock instrumental that cooks.

On Gene McDaniels' Compared To What the funk serves this band well and they jam it out for eight minutes. Auger's vocals work especially well. Marvin Gaye's Inner City Voices is soulful and funky again, and Voices Of Other Times, featuring a spacey vocal and at long last, a lead guitar break, closes out the record.

As jazz-rock fusion goes, it is both smoother and better than most. Auger was always closer to jazz than most rock organ players, and forty years later he's still touring, playing this material live with his most recent incarnation of the Oblivion Express.

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