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BRIAN AUGER

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United Kingdom


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Brian Auger biography
Born July 18, 1939 and growing up in London, BRIAN AUGER began taking notice of his parent's player piano at the age of three; "After a while I noticed that I was able to recognize the patterns in all the notes... I began to copy the notes [and] I was actually able to copy these melodies", he recalls. After the Auger home was bombed and destroyed in 1944, Brian found other pianos and was determined to keep playing. In addition to the British and American pop music of the time, he also became fascinated with jazz artists like Duke Ellington, Count Basie and other popular jazz coming in through Armed Forces radio. Soon the great modern jazz pianists captured him, Oscar Peterson, Hampton Hawes, Bill Evans, Red Garland, Victor Feldman, and McCoy Tyner.

By eighteen, his musical prowess began attracting attention and in 1962 he formed a trio with bassist Rick Laird, Phil Knorra on drums, adding a young John McLaughlin and saxophonist Glen Hughes. 1964 saw AUGER winning a Melody Maker jazz poll, soon becoming in-demand among London's music scene. Though a fan of rock (the BEATLES in particular), AUGER was more interested in the technical side of playing and after hearing JIMMY SMITH on Hammond organ, he knew he had to have one. In November 1964, he formed the TRINITY with drummer Micky Waller and bassist Ricky Brown. By 1965, English blues singer LONG JOHN BALDRY had put together a band with AUGER and with the addition of Rod Stewart, Julie Driscoll and guitarist Vic Briggs, the band STEAMPACKET emerged and lasted almost a year playing the mix of R&B, blues-jazz and rock that would cement AUGER's reputation. September 1966 saw a rebirth of the TRINITY that included Driscoll and Briggs, guitarist Gary Boyle, bassist Roger Sutton and Clive Thacker on drums. "The idea of the Trinity", he reflects, "was a combination of Blues, Mowtown and Messengers". They released a debut in 1967 titled "Open" from which a Bob Dylan cover reached #5 and put the LP on the charts. "Definitely What" was an instrumental record released in 1968, and "Streetnoise" that same year, this time with Driscoll on vocals. The outfit disbanded finally in 1970 after the flop "Befour" but never one to give up, 'Aug' formed OBLIVION EXPRESS with Jim Mullen on guitars, Barry Dean on bass and drummer Robbie Macintosh. After several good jazz-rock fusion albums, a new version of OBLIVION EXPRESS recorded "Closer To It", the band toured the U.S. and the album landed on both the R&B...
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A Better Land/Second WindA Better Land/Second Wind
Import
Imports 2010
Audio CD$42.08
$35.14 (used)
2-Live Oblivion 12-Live Oblivion 1
Import
Imports 2000
Audio CD$9.48
$6.50 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
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BRIAN AUGER shows & tickets


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BRIAN AUGER discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

BRIAN AUGER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.98 | 5 ratings
Attention
1965
2.90 | 13 ratings
Open
1967
2.22 | 11 ratings
Definitely What (with The Trinity)
1968
2.67 | 6 ratings
Jools And Brian
1969
4.05 | 31 ratings
Streetnoise
1969
4.05 | 24 ratings
Befour (with the Trinity)
1970
3.74 | 30 ratings
Brian Auger's Oblivion Express
1970
2.40 | 21 ratings
A Better Land (as Oblivion Express)
1971
3.52 | 21 ratings
Second Wind (as Oblivion Express)
1972
3.67 | 15 ratings
Closer To It! (as Oblivion Express)
1973
3.30 | 16 ratings
Straight Ahead (as Oblivion Express)
1974
2.98 | 9 ratings
Reinforcements (as Oblivion Express)
1975
2.52 | 6 ratings
Happiness Heartaches (as Oblivion Express)
1977
2.20 | 6 ratings
Encore (with Julie Tippetts)
1978
2.68 | 6 ratings
Search Party
1981
3.00 | 2 ratings
Here And Now
1984
2.00 | 1 ratings
Keys To The Heart (with Oblivion Express)
1987
3.00 | 2 ratings
Voices From Other Times (as Oblivion Express)
2000
3.29 | 5 ratings
Looking In The Eye Of The World (as OBLIVION EXPRESS)
2005
4.00 | 2 ratings
Language of the Heart
2012

BRIAN AUGER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.78 | 7 ratings
Live Oblivion Volume 1
1975
3.07 | 5 ratings
LIVE OBLIVION Volume 2
1976
0.00 | 0 ratings
Access All Areas ( with Eric Burdon)
1998
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live at the Baked Potato (with Oblivion Express)
2005

BRIAN AUGER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

BRIAN AUGER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.96 | 4 ratings
Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity
1970
0.00 | 0 ratings
Once Upon A Time (with Julie Driscoll)
1971
0.00 | 0 ratings
Faces And Places Vol. 10
1972
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Best of Brian Auger's Oblivion Express
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mod Jazz Years Featuring Julie Driscoll
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Of Brian Auger
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
Auger Rhythms: Brian Auger's Musical History
2003
4.05 | 2 ratings
Get Auger-nized!: The Anthology
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
This Wheel's on Fire: The Best of Brian Auger
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Jazz Years
2006
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Mod Years 1965-1969
2006

BRIAN AUGER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 3 ratings
This Wheel's On Fire
1968

BRIAN AUGER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Second Wind (as Oblivion Express) by AUGER, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.52 | 21 ratings

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Second Wind (as Oblivion Express)
Brian Auger Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars By 1972 Auger had to be one of the busiest men in the rock field.Not only he was fully commited to his own ''oblivion express'', but he had also become an entry in Roland Kovac New Set, a band with which he released a handful of albums during the year.But he also found time to work on his brainchild's next effort, he had actually invited Alex Ligertwood from Troc to join them on lead vocals, so he could focus on his instrumental work.Again the Advision Studios in London was the place of the recordings of ''Second wind'', released in 1972 as well on RCA.

With ''Second wind'' Brian Auger's Oblivion Express would find again their way into efficient and tricky music, the album walks exactly on the thin line between the style of the debut and the somewhat flat offerings of ''A better land''.The accesible influences and playful parts are still present in a great number of funky and Soul influences, but the music is more professional, recollecting the jazzy flavors of the debut and eventually delivering a decent amalgam of intricate and more poppy tunes.Auger shines with his work on Hammond organ, while his piano moments are coming straight out of a Jazz band, the supporting group is always consistent with some muddy bass lines, smooth guitar moves and solid drumming.The album balances dangerously between in-your-face organ-drenched paces and the jazzy abnormalities, where the pieces begin as typically song-structured and end up being a storm of piano and organ tortuting.Alex Ligertwood is definitely a welcome addition on vocals, delivering a nuance of a more rockin' attitude, moreover strengthened by the mass of rhythmic parts.A couple of tracks are still weak, dominated by dated psych and Pop leftovers of the 60's, but the bulk is going the right way with a nice sense for instrumental originality and vocal balance.

Back on track for Brian Auger's Oblivion Express, a sweet little album of jazzy, psych and Fusion elements, recommended for all lovers of organ-based light Prog/Psych.

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 Befour (with the Trinity) by AUGER, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.05 | 24 ratings

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Befour (with the Trinity)
Brian Auger Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Recorded after their split with Julie Driscoll, Befour found the Trinity steering away from wide- eyed psychedelic pop to get down and dirty with some jazz fusion material. This might have alienated fans of their prior work, but it did at least position Auger as one of the more interesting of the early prog keyboardists, even if his work isn't as widely celebrated as the likes of Keith Emerson, Dave Greenslade, Tony Banks, Rick Wakeman or Hugh Banton in retrospect. Punchy without being obnoxious, clever without being pretentious, and technically complex without being dull, it's as confident a transition from psychedelia to progressive rock as ever I've seen.

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 Looking In The Eye Of The World (as OBLIVION EXPRESS) by AUGER, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.29 | 5 ratings

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Looking In The Eye Of The World (as OBLIVION EXPRESS)
Brian Auger Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

3 stars A steady performer, elder statesman of the British Jazz-Rock scene, AUGER has been delivering quality material for decades. Indeed, he is so steady that his predictable approach to the Hammond organ has become repetitive and somewhat tedious.

So, what's new here? Well, there is a bit and that's not always a plus. This release appears to have been designed to promote his very talented children while daddy provides a familiar background.

Daughter SAVANNAH has a sweet, endearing voice and sings in the finest tradition of female Jazz vocal. Son KARMA AUGER on drums is on his way to challenge PIERRE MOERLEN, or BILL BRUFORD when it comes to sharp, tight delivery on the skins.

So, what's wrong with this album? Nothing much really, but nothing much right, either. A family promotion designed not to offend, but to appeal to the masses in a compromised way. Some of the tunes are little more than elevator music and when it comes to the horns, it appears that AUGER had sacrificed his identity in order to gain recognition by the US music market. Such attempt by many have failed "big time" before and AUGER's approach is but another casualty.

Enjoyable, but hardly essential work. .

.

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 Befour (with the Trinity) by AUGER, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.05 | 24 ratings

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Befour (with the Trinity)
Brian Auger Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Cactus Choir

5 stars Befour seems to be the forgotten runt of Brian Auger's litter, coming after break-up of the Trinity with Julie Driscoll and prior to the increasingly jazz-fusion style he pursued with Oblivion Express, but it's actually my favourite Auger album.

Recorded at Advision in 1970 with Eddie (ELP and Yes) Offord producing, something of the Spirit of Prog appears to infuse Mr Auger, even to the extent of doing a couple of nifty classical interpretations of Faure's Pavane and Albinoni's Adagio in his signature groovy jazz-rock style.

Befour is largely made up of non-original covers, which might be taken by some as a lack of inspiration, but what amazing covers several of them are. The two real standouts are a version of No Time To Live that trumps Traffic's original for existential angst with wonderful vocals from guitarist Gary Boyle and brilliant Hammond work from Auger. It is matched by Maiden Voyage, where the transition from the jazz piano and horns of Herbie Hancock's original to organ and guitar works wonderfully well. Mr Auger once again just totally rocks the Hammond on this track, and really was on top form when this album was made. The one group original, Just You Just Me, has a cool groove and excellent vocals from Auger.

Try to get the infinitely superior cover art with the group reflected in rainwater, which far better reflects the mood of the album than the more common flowers and group pics version. Befour reminds me of a rainy autumn day in London - I quite like rainy autumn days in London and I love this album. Four and a half stars rounded up to five.

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 Brian Auger's Oblivion Express by AUGER, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.74 | 30 ratings

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Brian Auger's Oblivion Express
Brian Auger Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Brian Auger's Oblivion Express first album selftitled from 1971 is considered one Brian Auger best works in his long career and one of the most intresting hammond driven jazz rock/progressive rock albums of first part of the '70s. Trinity his first band now is history Brin Auger allowing in his music lots of instrumental arrangements going from jazz rock to progressive rock with some spacey ingredients thrown in, the result is more then ok to my ears. The album is powerful and gives to the listner no rest from first to last piece with hammond running all over plus a quite good guitar work and druming. I'm not bothered at all by the vocal lines Auger voice is pleasent to my ears, really is more then ok like on The road, very pleasent vocal parts and groovy instrumental sections. Not a weak moment here on this release, only energic pieces with intresting creative passages all over. One of my fav musicians keyboardists and albums. 4 stars maybe in places 4,5 stars. recommended for sure.

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 A Better Land (as Oblivion Express) by AUGER, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.40 | 21 ratings

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A Better Land (as Oblivion Express)
Brian Auger Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars In 1971 Auger helped with the production and appeared in the sole release of Mogul Thrash, while at the same time he entered again the Advision Studios with his supporting group to record Oblivion Express' second album ''A better land''.The same year the sophomore release of the group saw the light on RCA.

What a huge dissapointment to see this great band after a nice debut turning the sound into more Pop, Psych Rock and R'n'B sounds.Generally ''A better land'' can be considered as a melodic Psychedelic/Pop Rock album with no connections to the early Jazz/Fusion style of Oblivion Express.Full of delicate vocals, smooth piano lines, melodic guitar work with jazzy touches and a laid-back drum/bass support, the album is an easy-going travel with tendency towards more emotional songwriting and no signs of technical or virtuosic passages.The music is very mellow, the tracks are simplistic and the atmosphere remains soft all the way.Auger's monster organ sounds are totally absent except for a couple notable solos, his Hammond now plays the secondary role of filling the sound in most of the tracks and the lack of his energetic runs are more than evident.

Unimpressive jazzy melodic Psych Rock.Questions about this sudden turn in sound remain until today.Only for archivists, collectors and die-hard fans of Psychedelic/Jazz Rock.

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 Brian Auger's Oblivion Express by AUGER, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.74 | 30 ratings

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Brian Auger's Oblivion Express
Brian Auger Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The master of Hammond organ Brian Auger was born in London in 1939, where he would produce some of his best music.His first band was Steampacket along with Julie Driscoll, with whom he would form Brian Auger & the Trinity in 1968 (featuring Gary Boyle of Isotope).With Trinity Auger produced two albums mixing Jazz, Blues and R'n'B, before founding his most prolific band Brian Auger's Oblivion Express in 1970.With Jim Mullen on guitars, Barry Dean on bass and Robbie McIntosh on drums Auger would record Oblivion Express'es eponymous debut at Advision Studios in London in November 1970, released the following year on RCA.

Side A contains some of the best early-70's Jazz-Rock to be heard, both the short ''Dragon Song'' and the long ''Total eclipse'' are pure Jazz-Rock/Fusion delights with some powerful, dominant bass lines by Dean, Auger performing incredibly on organ and some fine jazzy guitar soloing by Mullen.''The light'' on the other hand is closer to the sound of Trinity, groovy organ- based Fusion/R'n'B with plenty of vocals by Auger with a positive taste at the end.On the flipside ''On the road'' kicks off with more of the same style, pleasant Fusion with good jazzy guitar soloing and Auger rather performing on the background this time than delivering any virtuosic notes except the middle solo.With ''Sword'' the band seems to lack inspiration, another long organ/guitar-led rockin' Fusion cut, very similar to the previous to the point you can't set them musically apart.The last track ''Oblivion Express'' has a certain DEEP PURPLE vibe on its groove, being a good blend of organ-based Heavy Rock and guitar-based Jazz-Fusion with Mullen in pure orgasm by the middle and some fiery almost EMERSON-ian organ offerings by Auger later.

It's a pitty tha the album did not maintain the high inspiration of the first pair of compositions.But again the rest of it is played with some great passion and energy, so Brian Auger's Oblivion Express'es entry in discography can be listened easily even today.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Open by AUGER, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1967
2.90 | 13 ratings

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Open
Brian Auger Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by 1967/ 1976

4 stars Brian Auger is one of the best interpreters Hammond organ, and a great jazz musician. Despite all the 60 has got to be appreciated and judged fabulously, until 1969 was able to release the album that launched him as a star. This "Open" is the debut album of Trinity, a sort of backing band of same Auger and Julie Driscoll, secretary of Giorgio Gomelsky in 60's and ex Steampacket (with the same Auger). Recorded in 1967 in five hours at London's Chappel studio "open" is not a Prog album in the strict sense but, at the same time, Open is not a Proto Prog album. Due to the greater maturity than other contemporary Prog albums "Open" already plays Prog, remaining, however, a simple example of jazz rock, although very eclectic. Sure there are times now almost ridiculous songs ("Lament For Miss Baker, for me) but it is hard to miss that "Open" is a good example of Jazzy Prog POP.

The opening track is "In and Out" (Montgomery), a fantastic composition of POP Jazz with a delicious big band arrangements, melodic guitar and hammond in a sort of musical duel. Hammond soli are great. "Isola Natale" (Brian Auger) is another great track, example of West Coast Jazz with a fantastic echo of "She's Not There" of Zombies as in "Isola Natale" is more than a veiled reference to it in the beautiful Hammond riffs. "Black Cat" (Brian Auger) is a powerful savage Rhythm'n'Blues with big band arrangements, great Hammond and Auger voice. "Lament For Miss Baker" is just a lament with a savage feel and good piano intro a la Nina Simone. "Tramp" (Fulson Mc Cracklin) is the debut song by Julie Driscoll in Open. "Tramp" is a good Soul Funky song (and previously a hit for Otis Redding and Carla Tomas) that is perfect for Julie's strident voice. Good in this song the riff of horns and good is also Hammond solo by Auger. "Why (Am I treated So Bad)" (Staples) is another good song for Julie and is perfect for the gentle atmosphere of the B side of "Open",presenting more or less the same style as the previous song but with a slower Soul rhythm and without a big band arrangement, despite the presence of horns. "A Kind Of Love In" (Auger, Driscoll) is another Rhythm'n'Blues song with great power and magic (and feeling). "Break It Up" (Usher) is another Rhythm'n'Blues, today not perfect but with good power, good piano and Funky Soul vocal parts (male chorus, female soloist). "Season Of The Witch" (Leitch) is yet another cover of Donovan's hits, here expanded enormously (but without becoming psychedelic). "Season Of The Witch" is a perfect song for Julie's voice, powerful, strident and magic. This is the last song of Original "Open" Lp but 2004 Sanctuary remastered version present also 4 bonus tracks."I've Gotta Go Now" (Pappalardi) is a perfect Rhythm'n'Blues/ Rock'n'Roll song but with POP atmosphere, although powerful and engaging, as well as a little wild and previously unreleased. "Save Me" (Ousley, Franklin, Franklin) is a great Funky Soul, perfect for Julie's voice with good horns and great power. "Save Me" was the second Trinity single, first with Julie. "The Road To Cairo" (Ackles) is a great song out in a sinle, a great relaxing power ballad with great strings and julie interpretation. Probably "Road To Cairo" is my preferred song in this edition of "Open" but at that time it was normal so magical songs as "road To Cairo" were not included in an LP. "This Wheel's on Fire" (Danko, Dylan) is another song for a single release (with "Black Cat"!), that present a good contortion of the atmospheres original, thanks to a Bluesy Beat arrangements. Too bad that the tape in the archives was not totally perfect, because it presents a slight distortion.

What I understand from listening to "Open" is that they are in front of a really nice album. Regardless of whether we want to consider "open" Prog or Jazz (not that it changes a lot) this should be stated. One side of the album is anything to Auger, the other is all for Julie. And the atmosphere change. Of course, many songs are similar. But Julie is the presence of changing things. A natural talent (probably greater than that of Brian Auger) made ​​ available to the Trinity and dosed carefully, so that, once the album is to me a little sad and I have to start tp listen to "open".

Today "Open" can not be called a masterpiece. Maybe it was not even in 1968. Nonetheless, "Open" is a little gem in the ocean of Jazz and Rock.

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 Search Party by AUGER, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.68 | 6 ratings

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Search Party
Brian Auger Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by 1967/ 1976

2 stars Brian Auger is a master of the keyboards, especially synthesizers. Yet his music so engaging with Trinity has become a very interesting sort of fusion, but in this album, a little too commercial. It is a serious fault, because it's really well written and arranged. But it forces me to not be fully satisfied.

"Search Party" is an album that contains songs recorded in 1977, 1980 and 1981 (with a bonus track on CD recorded in 1980), recorded with various musicians. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the compositions on this album will not have points of excellence, but, nevertheless, these songs are in possess of some degree of intricacies typical of Jazz and Fusion. If, as I search the music. I'm going to look feeling and magic... I find much feeling and magic in "Search Party". Unfortunately, to my ear, "Search Party" is an album without those virtuosity that I would expect from Brian Auger and for this fact a little flat.

But apart from that I noticed, "Search Party" is a good example of Fusion, maybe a little flat and commercial. But really honest.

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 Straight Ahead (as Oblivion Express) by AUGER, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.30 | 16 ratings

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Straight Ahead (as Oblivion Express)
Brian Auger Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Brian Auger is a name many may have heard about, especially when it comes to significant keyboardists of the 70's. I've only known of his psych hit with Julie Driscoll, 'This Wheel's on Fire' (with some tasteful Mellotron use). Having come across an LP of this 'Straight Ahead' release of his a while back, I was very impressed initially, and listening to it now, dozens of times later, still blown away. The recipe is fairly standard for the softer jazz-rock he composes (or chooses to cover) - drums and percussion/bass/keys/guitar and also vocals. This album is an absolute joy for me, each and every time I listen to it. The album features 2 cuts on side 1, and three on side 2. The first half is pure bliss. This is competent light fusion with impressive talent, though I noticed a 'fluff' in track 1, the 9 min+ 'Beginning Again', an Auger original which has a pleasant groove, lots of percussion and uplifting lyrics with a feel-good chord pattern. Auger's voice is quite polite without detracting from the music, nor offensive. The electric piano solo is excellent, but at one point, is a touch sloppy. Minor flaw aside, quite a memorable opening piece. Track 2 clocks in at almost 11 minutes, and is a phenomenally mellow groove called 'Bumpin' on Sunset', credited to a Montgomery (Wes maybe ??). This is where perfection lies - the Hammond organ playing is fantastic, the atmospheric guitaring, that laid-back rhythm, everything absolutely in the right place. We even get some Moog and String synths to symphonise the piece up to the next level. This is the sort of choice thing to listen to on a balmy, summer evening with no interuptions. Or anytime, really. The title song is quite funky, more tasteful e- piano and vocals, and did I say e-piano ?.... Reminds me of a jazzier ARGENT (circa 'Circus'). The over 8 min 'Change' is again percussion-heavy, groovy, funky and features some cool guitar solos, vocals and psych sounding Hammond soloing that's reminiscent of the late, great Vincent Crane (ATOMIC ROOSTER). The album closes with a ballad, 'You'll Stay In My Heart' - which is again mellow and jazzy with plenty of e-piano. This is 1974, and the closest thing to it maybe some of Santana's early 70's classics, minus the overtly Latin touches. 4 stars.

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