Get this crazy baby off my head!


Brian Auger & Julie Tippetts

Brian Auger & Julie Tippetts - Encore - 1978 - Warner Bros.

Julie Driscoll left Trinity, the band she fronted and directed with Brit soul-jazz icon Brian Auger, in 1969. She recorded a pair of solo albums, married Keith Tippett, a brilliant jazz improviser and bandleader, and recorded with Ovary Lodge, a free-form vocal ensemble, in 1977. In 1978 she and Auger reunited for Encore, a one-off studio offering that revealed the hole she'd left in the progressive pop scene of the late '60s. Her voice was in even better shape nearly a decade later: fuller, stronger, more throaty, without giving up a bit of her range. Auger, meanwhile, had remained very active with his groundbreaking soul-jazz-funk ensemble the Oblivion Express. While some complain that these sides don't have the Swinging London imprint on them, that would be because they stayed back there in the musty, dusty pop history bin. Listening to Encore in the 21st century is nearly a revelation. Auger, for his part as the band's musical director on his trademark B-3, acoustic piano, and a slew of electronic keyboards, is a strictly no-BS performer. He's as straight-ahead as they get, and Julie Tippetts understands that the root of the song is in its intention. Together, they make a nearly flawless pair on these nine cuts. Nowhere is this clearer than on the two tracks previously defined by other vocalists. "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," while oft-covered, had never come close to Eric Burdon & the Animals' version. Tippetts, however, plasters the song with bluesy feeling and a smoldering, nearly angry plea. Then there's Jack Bruce's "Rope Ladder to the Moon." Tippetts implicitly understands the jazz feel of the tune as Bruce wrote it. The funky backdrop bassline by David McDaniels doesn't even muddy it up. Auger's Rhodes piano and B-3 and George Doering's gorgeous acoustic guitar playing are certainly the pegs the tune turns on, but it's Tippetts who delivers the authority and dark secret in this song about love's cruelty. And, of course, there's Pops Staples' "Freedom Highway," in which the vocalist here gives Mavis Staples a run for her money in offering the sense of determination and joy in the gospel and blues shout she got to use so rarely in her solo career. But there's more than this, too: Tippetts and Auger deliver the album's two bookends written by Al Jarreau, "Spirit" and "Lock All the Gates," as harder, funkier jazz numbers while never losing the airiness at their core. On the former, Tippetts is prodded and edged to the ledge by Auger and McDaniels, and the tune nearly lifts off. The only weak spot on this whole set is the Auger vocal on Milton Nascimento's "Nothing Will Be as It Was." It's not that the tune wouldn't have been a standout on an Oblivion Express record, but on this one it's pale in comparison to the solid groove consciousness and expression in Tippetts' Earth angel voice. Auger wrote a couple of winners here as well in both "Git Up" and "Freedom Pilot," and they stand up with the canonical tracks just fine. The former is as jazzy funk tune with some knotty twists and turns that Tippetts pulls off without a seam, and the latter is a soul groover. Finally, it should be mentioned that "No Time to Live," the Steve Winwood-Jim Capaldi tune, is given all the elegance of the original, but Tippetts adds her own sense of smoke and fire to its lyric, turning it inside out as a soul tune. The lead work of Doering as it punches through Auger's fat acoustic piano makes this little ballad soar. Ultimately, this is as necessary as any of the previous Auger/Driscoll (nee Tippetts) collaborations, and aurally reveals that for the two of them, time may move on, but their collaborative spirit is nearly effortless in its balance, dignity, feeling, and poise. © Thom Jurek © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/encore-mw0000611157

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, Average White Band & 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. “Encore” is a great laid back album of mainly R&B covers infused with funk, blues, jazz, and soul, from two British musicians who have never fully received the credit they deserved. This album made a miniscule impact on the 1978 music scene and sank into obscurity. It was hard to compete with artists like Showaddywaddy and Boney M. (Gawd ‘elp us! Lol). Listen to Julie Driscoll & Brian Auger’s “Jools” album, and Brian Auger's Oblivion Express’ “Reinforcements” album. Check out “Mind Your Own Music” @ http://www.mindyourownmusic.co.uk/ which will give you much more info about Julie Tippett [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 87.7 Mb]


1 Spirit - Al Jarreau 4:07
2 Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood - Bennie Benjamin / Gloria Caldwell / Sol Marcus 3:34
3 Git Up - Brian Auger 3:47
4 Freedom Highway - Roebuck "Pops" Staples 2:50
5 Future Pilot - Brian Auger 4:22
6 Rope Ladder to the Moon - Pete Brown / Jack Bruce 3:03
7 No Time to Live - Jim Capaldi / Steve Winwood 6:14
8 Nothing Will Be as It Was - Ronaldo Bastos / Milton Nascimento / Rene Vincent 3:46
9 Lock All the Gates - Al Jarreau 5:04


Brian Auger - Keyboards, Piano, Organ, Synthesizer, Percussion, Tambourine, Vocals
George Doering - Guitar
David McDaniels - Bass
Dave Crigger - Drums
Julie Driscoll aka Julie Tippetts - Harmonica, Vocals
Maxine Willard Waters, Jessica Smith - Vocals, Background Vocals
Julia Tillman Waters - 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 © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved


Sixties pop diva-turned-avant jazz singer Julie Driscoll was born June 8, 1947 in London. As a teen she oversaw the Yardbirds' fan club, and it was the group's manager and producer Giorgio Gomelsky who encouraged her to begin a performing career of her own. In 1963 she issued her debut pop single "Take Me by the Hand," two years later joining the short-lived R&B combo Steampacket alongside Rod Stewart, Long John Baldry and organist Brian Auger. After Steampacket dissolved, Driscoll signed on with the Brian Auger Trinity, scoring a Top Five UK hit in 1968 with their rendition of Bob Dylan's "This Wheel's on Fire." Dubbed "The Face" by the British music press, Driscoll's striking looks and coolly sophisticated vocals earned her flavor of the month status, and she soon left Auger for a solo career. Her debut solo album 1969 heralded a significant shift away from pop, however, enlisting members of the Soft Machine and Blossom Toes to pursue a progressive jazz direction. Also contributing to the record was pianist Keith Tippett, whose avant garde ensembles Centipede and Ovary Lodge Driscoll soon joined. She and Tippett were later married, and she took her new husband's name, also recording as Julie Tippetts. With her 1974 solo masterpiece Sunset Glow, she further explored improvisational vocal techniques in settings ranging from folk to free jazz. Two years later, Tippett joined with Maggie Nicols, Phil Minton and Brian Ely to form the experimental vocal quartet Voice, and in 1978 also collaborated with Nicols on the duo album Sweet and s'Ours. A decade later, she and Keith released Couple in Spirit, and in 1991 Tippett teamed with over a dozen instrumentalists from Britain and the former Soviet Georgia in the Mujician/Georgian Ensemble. The following year, she re-recorded "This Wheel's on Fire" as the theme to the smash BBC comedy Absolutely Fabulous. ©Jason Ankeny © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/julie-driscoll-mn0000261098/biography


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


P/W is aoofc

ratso said...

Hey thanks for this one Mr Fingal. Always meant to give it a listen. We have a heatwave at the moment, and I could use some cool music.

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

G'day, ratso. You lucky b. It's as cold as a witches's tit where I am. Enjoy the sun and the music. TVM & TTU soon...Paul