Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Brian Auger & Oblivion Express|
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Rock
A truly complete 'best of' collection
Rich Schneider | USA | 01/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Brian Auger's Oblivion Express is one of those bands that noticeably progressed as time went on. This collection has it all - from the early days when Brian sang/played the organ with Jim Mullen playing his unique style of guitar (Dawn of Another Day) through the days when Brian gave up doing vocals so he could concentrate on playing the B-3 as only he can. 'Happiness is Just Around the Bend' is the song that introduced me to this band and it remains a true classic. The band's version of 'Inner City Blues' is the best. This CD is a must for anyone who wants to experience jazz music by an artist who knows how to surround and captivate a listener."
Keith Emerson meets Larry Young - - Mind blowing Future Jazz
Eddie Landsberg | Tokyo, Japan | 12/06/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you just click on the first sound clip, you might get turned off a bit... it'll sound kinda... I don't know... predictable '60s rock... (unless that's your taste) AUGER IS ANYTHING BUT... This is a kick *ss B-3 player keyboardist who's part KEITH EMERSON, part JIMMY SMITH part BOOKER T. part JOEY DEFRANCESCO part LARRY YOUNG... the AUGER sound I like is very high energy funk fusion with a progressive rock edge, and he burns on the Hammond. Check out WHENEVER YOUR READY and some of the clips from disk 2. Its incredible stuff. FREEDOM JAZZ DANCE is another shocker... if you like it, check out EDDIE JEFFERSON or BIG JOHN PATTON's VERSION... check out LES McCANN w/ EDDIE HARRIS too... Great stuff... If you like it, check out ARGENT as well !"
Evolution of A Band
Kurt Harding | Boerne TX | 12/24/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Over its lifetime, Brian Auger's Oblivion Express changed its personality and direction a number of times. It was a jazz rock band, a jazz funk band, a jazz fusion band, a disco jazz band, and sometimes all four at once! The Best of...shows the evolution of the band from its beginning to the point where Auger himself becomes more or less satisfied that it has achieved the distinctive sound he was looking for.
I came on board the Oblivion Express in the 70s with the issue of "Closer To It", which is just the point where the liner notes quote Auger as saying that the album was so named in honor of the fact that his current crop of musicians were close to attaining the sound he wanted. I agree completely. Though the band had showed remarkable progress with Second Wind, it is Closer To It and its follow-up Straight Ahead that gives Oblivion Express a firm place in music history.
The first disc gives an overview of OE's first three albums and begins with Dragon Song, a nice fusion number from his first album. On some of the early songs, Auger's sound is remarkably like that of Deep Purple's keyboardist Jon Lord, but his vocals are cheesy.
That problem was temporarily solved when Alex Ligertwood was brought on board. To me, his vocal style is a lot like that of Tower of Power's Lenny Williams and pushed the band in a funkier direction. The songs that feature Ligertwood on vocals are among the best on the first disc. Truth and Second Wind are very good, Somebody Help Us and Freedom Jazz Dance are excellent. But then Ligertwood quits and vocal duties fall back on Auger.
The second disc starts with some of the best tunes in the Auger songbook. Here, Auger's voice has matured and his work, both instrumentally and vocally, on songs from Closer To It is sensational. I like all four featured works from that album, particularly Happiness Is Just Around The Bend. Auger's Inner City Blues honors Marvin Gaye in being far superior to Gaye's original.
The great sounds continue with a couple cuts from Straight Ahead, the title cut of which once again features the capable Alex Ligertwood on vocals. Those who are fans of Eumir Deodato will not fail to notice how much Auger's play on Straight Ahead resembles that of Deodato when the Brazilian great was at his jazz/funk peak. Bumpin' On Sunset, the other cut from Straight Ahead, is a splendid 10 minute plus instrumental jazz workout composed by the late, great Wes Montgomery.
The CD finishes with a few snatches from later albums, the best of which is the soulful live number Beginning Again, the disco jazzy Brain Damage, and the hard-driving instrumental Planet Earth Calling.
Brian Auger fans should be pleased with this compilation overall though it is more of anthology than a "best of", unless you wish to say that the songs offered are the best from their respective albums. A couple of lame songs on the first CD knock a star off, otherwise The Best of Brian Auger's Oblivion Express is highly recommended."