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Brian Auger

Brian Auger - Search Party - 1981 - Headfirst

Of all Brian Auger's recordings, Search Party may be the most aptly titled of them all. Recorded in San Francisco between 1977 and 1981, Search Party is a perfect example of the restlessness of Brian Auger at the turn of the two decades. On the one hand, his embrace of new keyboard technology made many things possible. Auger was capable of sounding like the keyboardist and a large horn section all by himself. As is evidenced here, his struggle was to embrace the new advances and utilize them as fully as possible without them swallowing his work whole. He walks that tightrope like Karl Wallenda. With the exception of the deep, funky fusion freak-out that is "Red Alert," Auger wrote virtually everything here. His compositions ramble from one side of the sonic spectrum to another. On "Sea of Tranquility," his three-chord intro that weaves in the bassline just ahead of the beat for a languid, shimmering effect is contrasted with the elegant, rhythmic fury of "Planet Earth Calling," and the sparse, Weather Report-like grooves in "Voyager 3." Speaking of this latter track (whose riff had been an Auger trademark for a decade by then), it's amazing to see the accolades showered on Weather Report for their innovation, when Auger was there so much earlier and so much deeper. This cut is just one example. This may be an exercise in restlessness, but clearly, Auger was never more focused on finding the right grooves than he was here. © Thom Jurek © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/search-party-r134780/review

Brian Auger, the "Grandfather of Acid Jazz", came out of the British Blues scene playing with artists like John Mayall. He was strongly influenced by organ players like Groove Holmes, Charles Earland, Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Don Patterson, and many others. However, in his own right, Brian is equally as talented as any of these artists. In his early career, during the mid '60's in England, Brian was a "straight up jazz player". Later in his career he was accused by many music critics and fans of selling out, after he veered his music in a more R&B/jazz direction. At various times, he played with artists like Passport, the Average White Band and Les McCann and Eddie Harris. "Brian Auger is one of the best B-3 artists I have ever heard in my life. His technique is awesome and the amount of energy he generates is unparalleled and relentless. He is a tremendous talent with a wonderfully warm and compassionate personality, a combination that is hard to beat. He deserves all the accolades."- Herbie Hancock: "My Favorite rock artists are Van Morrison, Bonnie Raitt, Brian Auger and Loudon Wainwright."- Mose Allison: "Search Party" has been dismissed by some critics as being too commercial and "poppy" but it is still a great jazz rock album full of great probing grooves. Brian Auger has always tried to embrace the musical zeitgeist and has never sold out to commercialism. His music remains original and captivating, and he is one of the world's greatest keyboard players. The album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Julie Driscoll/Brian Auger & The Trinity's "Streetnoise" album, Brian Auger's Oblivion Express' "Reinforcements" album, and Karma Auger's great "Blue Groove" album. Search this blog for related releases. [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 81.4 Mb]

N.B: A little note for Steely Dan fans. One of Brian Auger's favourite musicians is the late English multi-instrumentalist, Victor Feldman, who played on at least five Steely Dan albums, and one of Brian's favourite albums is "Aja".


1 Planet Earth Calling
2 Red Alert
3 Sea of Tranquility


4 Voyager 3
5 I'm Gone
6 Golden Gate

7 Black Octopus [Bonus Track on 2006 CD issue]

Tracks 1,3,4,6,& 7 composed by Brian Auger: Track 2 composed by Tony Newton: Track 5 composed by Mitch Tubman


Brian Auger - Moog Synthesizer, Hammond Organ, Piano, Electric Piano, Prophet 5 Synthesizer, Freeman String Symphoniser, Cabasa, Cowbell, Go Go Bell, Tambourine, Vocals, Background Vocals
George Doering, Ho Young Kim - Guitar
Paul Jackson, David McDaniels, Steve Evans - Bass
Patrick Gleeson - Synthesizer, Programming
Terry Baker, Michael Barsimanto, Mike Clark, Dave Crigger - Drums
Tom Donlinger - Drums, Gong, Wind Gong, Waterphone
Alex Ligertwood - Vocals, Background Vocals


Brian Auger was raised in London, where he took up the keyboards as a child and began to hear jazz by way of the American Armed Forces Network and an older brother's record collection. By his teens, he was playing piano in clubs, and by 1962 he had formed the Brian Auger Trio with bass player Rick Laird and drummer Phil Knorra. In 1964, he won first place in the categories of "New Star" and "Jazz Piano" in a reader's poll in the Melody Maker music paper, but the same year he abandoned jazz for a more R&B-oriented approach and expanded his group to include John McLaughlin (guitar) and Glen Hughes (baritone saxophone) as the Brian Auger Trinity. This group split up at the end of 1964, and Auger moved over to Hammond B-3 organ, teaming with bass player Rick Brown and drummer Mickey Waller. After a few singles, he recorded his first LP on a session organized to spotlight blues singer Sonny Boy Williamson that featured his group, saxophonists Joe Harriott and Alan Skidmore, and guitarist Jimmy Page; it was Don't Send Me No Flowers, released in 1968. By mid-1965, Auger's band had grown to include guitarist Vic Briggs and vocalists Long John Baldry, Rod Stewart, and Julie Driscoll, and was renamed Steampacket. More a loosely organized musical revue than a group, Steampacket lasted a year before Stewart and Baldry left and the band split. Auger retained Driscoll and brought in bass player Dave Ambrose and drummer Clive Thacker to form a unit that was billed as Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger and the Trinity. Their first album, Open, was released in 1967 on Marmalade Records (owned by Auger's manager, Giorgio Gomelsky), but they didn't attract attention on record until the release of their single, "This Wheel's on Fire," (music and lyrics by Bob Dylan and Rick Danko) in the spring of 1968, which preceded the appearance of the song on the Band's Music from Big Pink album. The disc hit the top five in the U.K., after which Open belatedly reached the British charts. Auger and the Trinity recorded the instrumental album Definitely What! (1968) without Driscoll, then brought her back for the double-LP, Streetnoise (1968), which reached the U.S. charts on Atco Records shortly after a singles compilation, Jools & Brian, gave them their American debut on Capitol in 1969. Driscoll quit during a U.S. tour, but the Trinity stayed together long enough to record Befour (1970), which charted in the U.S. on RCA Records, before disbanding in July 1970. Auger put together a new band to play less commercial jazz-rock and facetiously called it the Oblivion Express, since he didn't think it would last; instead, it became his perennial band name. The initial unit was a quartet filled out by guitarist Jim Mullen, bass player Barry Dean, and drummer Robbie McIntosh. Their initial LP, Brian Auger's Oblivion Express, was released in 1971, followed later the same year by A Better Land, but their first U.S. chart LP was Second Wind in June 1972, the album that marked the debut of singer Alex Ligertwood with the band. Personnel changes occurred frequently, but the Oblivion Express continued to figure in the U.S. charts consistently over the next several years with Closer to It! (August 1973), Straight Ahead (March 1974), Live Oblivion, Vol. 1 (December 1974), Reinforcements (October 1975), and Live Oblivion, Vol. 2 (March 1976). Meanwhile, Auger had moved to the U.S. in 1975, eventually settling in the San Francisco Bay area. In the face of declining sales, he switched to Warner Bros. Records for Happiness Heartaches, which charted in February 1977. Encore, released in April 1978, was a live reunion with Julie Tippetts (née Driscoll) that marked the end of Auger's association with major record labels, after which he dissolved the Oblivion Express and recorded less often. In 1990, he teamed up with former Animals singer Eric Burdon, and the two toured together during the next four years, releasing Access All Areas together in 1993. In 1995, Auger put together a new Oblivion Express. As of 2000, the lineup consisted of his daughter, Savannah, on vocals, Chris Clermont on guitar, Dan Lutz on bass, and his son Karma on drums. This group issued the album Voices of Other Times on Miramar Records one week before Auger's 61st birthday. © William Ruhlmann © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:fpfrxqr5ldhe~T1


Anonymous said...

This is indeed a bit different for Brian Auger. Some good stuff nonetheless. Thanks

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks, A

Freg said...

Thanks for this, it's really nice. I pretty much lost track of Brian Auger after his days with Julie Driscoll; obviously i have a lot of catching up to do.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Freg. Brian has a huge musical output, and most of his stuff is worth checking out. Thanks, & TTU soon...P

Anonymous said...

Link is dead

A.O.O.F.C said...


Doccus Rockus Maximus said...

Hey thanks! I was just browsing Brian's website (easy to find under his name) and there was a few albums i never heard.. this being one of them.. since can only afford 4 CDs it was a tossup between encore, and search party.. if I like it after the listen, I'll pass on encore for now..
You should check that site out, though.. he's got a "Definitive Steampacket" issue with a whole slew of alternate takes and previously unreleased Steampacket tracks..
For years I've only ever heard the nine ones from that studio rehearsal session.. should be something!

A.O.O.F.C said...

How are you, DRM? Thanks for comment. There's no end to Brian Auger's work. I'm always finding something new. I'll post some more stuff soon. Take it easy, & TTU later...P

Doccus Rockus Maximus said...

Thanks.. Hope you too, are doing well.. Remember I mentioned how "The Catch" masters were lost? Well, they got unearthed. and have been posting it on my blog (actually both.. as I have a rare cassette blog that's taking up all my time lately http://cassettecoverartlib.blogspot.ca/)

Because it's a rare cassette blog, I don't have many music rips, only scans.. as ripping cassettes occurs real-time, and that doesn't even include separating the tracks, etc..
Some are real rare though, so I accept requests if somebody really *wants* to hear a particular tape!

The Catch album is here http://cassettecoverartlib.blogspot.ca/2012/04/ok-its-not-cassette.html

Certainly have a listen.. you can even post it if you like it, or not, it's your call.;-)

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,DRM. Thanks for that link. I have cassettes that I haven't looked at in years....probably self destructed by now. Still some cassettes aavailable on vinyl were never released on CD, and SQ can be excellent. You've an invaluable blog going there! Thanks again, & TTU later...P