Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Brian Auger & Oblivion Express|
Complete Live Oblivion
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Rock
Ol' Stephen T. Rescues Another Album From OBLIVION!
STEPHEN T. McCARTHY | a Mensa-donkey in Phoenix, Airheadzona. | 06/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well, here I am again, posting a review for something th t's been utterly neglected. Of my current 67 reviews, 10 or 11 of them re the only posting for their respective product. In the song, 'THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE', P ul Simon mentions, "writing songs that voices never share." In my case, however, it is "writing reviews that no one ever reads." What does that say bout me? I guess, as in those immortal words of Waylon Jennings, I'm either "one step ahead, or behind." At any rate, I'm cert inly not a "Helpful" vote hound.
In 1978 (when this recording was but 4 years old), I was driving north on Highland Avenue in Hollyweird, and shortly after crossing Sunset Boulevard (yes, THAT Sunset Boulev rd), this live version of 'BUMPIN' ON SUNSET' was pl yed on the AM radio station I was listening to (yes, AM! Unbeliev ble, I know!) I was immedi tely spellbound. It was one of those instances in which you start silently pleading, "Oh, ple se Mr. D.J., tell me who this is!" Well, he did, nd I went right out and bought LIVE OBLIVION, Vol. 1 (in those days, this was p ckaged as two separate lps). I liked it so much that I later purch sed the 2-record, Vol. 2 set also. At th t time, I was a Rock 'N' Roll junkie, and these were the first JAZZ albums I ever owned. By the early 1980s, I had gravitated to The Blues, but since the mid-'80s, Jazz has been far nd away my musical preference.
My favorite instrument is the Hammond B-3 Organ; it is so soulful, so expressive, and so electrified and "electrifying!" Some of the B-3 Masters I like re Jimmy McGriff, Bill Doggett and of course, Jimmy Smith. But BRI N AUGER is my favorite - he plays with such passion. (Herbie Hancock has s id, "Brian Auger is one of the best B-3 artists I have ever heard in my life. His technique is awesome nd the amount of energy he generates is unparalleled and relentless.")
So, when I affix 5 Stars to THE COMPLETE LIVE OBLIVION, you must take into consider tion my affinity for its featured instrument, the nostalgic value this set holds for me, nd the fact that THIS version of 'BUMPIN' ON SUNSET' remains one of my 5 f vorite instrumental pieces of all-time. (I'm const ntly whistling it.)
Recorded at the intimate WHISKEY-A-GO-GO nightclub on Sunset Boulev rd in Hollywood, this is the rare live set that really conveys th t "you are there" feeling. Most of the pieces are top-notch : this is easily my f vorite version of Auger's signature tune, 'BUMPIN' ON SUNSET', as the livelier pace makes the funky groove more pronounced. I really dig 'TRUTH', nd the closer, 'COMPARED TO WHAT?' (with its then-contempor ry Watergate reference) is a flat-out barnburner! (Too bad bout the "G-damn" lyric that infringes on my enjoyment of it.)
But will YOU like this? It is JAZZ/ROCK/FUNK FUSION with a pronounced 1970s feel. The first few notes of 'BEGINNING AGAIN' immedi tely propel my mind back to that ancient decade. And I prefer these extended jams taken at a slightly quicker pace than their studio counterparts even if it me ns a sound qu lity that is just a bit raw. In the liner notes, Auger wrote, "Although the sound on the lbum may not be all we would wish it to be, I am satisfied th t the spirit shines through." Indeed it does. I'm not a fan of Alex Ligertwood's frequently over-the-top voc ls, but since they are largely incidental to these lengthy and searing improvis tions, they rarely detract signific ntly.
The currently "out-of-print" status of this lbum means an inflated price for a used copy. I'd pay it, as THE COMPLETE LIVE OBLIVION makes my Top 25 album list. Listen to the song samples, nd if you're already an AUGER fan, consider acquiring it. This IS a hot live set, nd the band can really work that thang! But if you're fairly new to this surprisingly funky, English B-3 bloke, you might w nt to start with the anthology, AUGER RHYTHMS: BRI N AUGER'S MUSICAL HISTORY, a more sonically varied and re sonably priced 2-disc collection. (See my review on the Product Page.) It presents a decidedly inferior 'BUMPIN' ON SUNSET', but otherwise, has A LOT to offer.
I hope you didn't have too much difficulty in deciphering this review. For some reason, the letter " " on my keyboard isn't lways registering, and I'll tell you this much : it's a real p in in the ss!