Archive for the ‘Brian Auger & The Trinity’ Category

Brian Auger & The Trinity

Monday, December 16th, 2013

DEFINITELY WHAT! / Brian Auger & The Trinity:

Side 1:

Listen: Red Beans And Rice / Brian Auger & The Trinity
Red

Side 2:

Listen: George Bruno Money / Brian Auger & The Trinity
George

It was February 2001 when my assistant Steve, at Sony, buzzed me about an incoming cold call from a Brian Auger.

“He sounds English” was the helpful detail.

I just figured it was one of my pals lazily playing our game. We’d often ring each other’s office and announce ourselves as an impossibly impossible famous caller, a person from our ultimate wish list.

But shockingly it was the real Brian Auger, making the label rounds via phone, shopping his daughter Ali Auger’s then current album, as well his catalog, including all the full lengths by Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express and even earlier titles like DEFINITELY WHAT!, the first as Brian Auger & The Trinity, from which these two songs come. I still have his letter from the huge package that arrived a few days later.

Atlantic and sister label Atco issued a handful of these 7″ promotional EP’s to radio during the late 60′s and early 70′s, all in similar generic information/picture sleeves with short explanatory notes on the back cover from the head of radio promotion or press. Oddly, most had simply one song per side, thereby not in keeping with the EP’s original configuration of two per side, four total.

In this case though, both tracks from DEFINITELY WHAT!, including Booker T & The MG’s ‘Red Beans And Rice’ were quite long, essentially filling out the same time as two shorter, single length tracks would have.

You don’t see the Atlantic series EP’s much these days, and hardly ever in the rather thin plain paper stock information/picture covers mentioned above.

Hank Jacobs

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Listen: So Far Away / Hank Jacobs
So

Those orange, black and white Sue labels still have an addictive visual to them. Not only the color, but the font too. As do their red and yellow UK counterparts. I can’t pass one up, not ever. Well, when they’re at a reasonable price that is, which is becoming less frequent these days.

Best place to find some at affordably would have to be current vinyl stores catering to indie rock. They always have $1 boxes and never seem to have a clue about 60′s soul. I always seem to find at least one. It’s very handy.

As with labelmate Jimmy McGriff, these guys specialized in the Hammond organ instrumentals Mods latched onto in the UK, welcoming those releases into their collections along side not only American contemporaries Jimmy Smith and Billy Preston, but also home based copyists, in the most complimentary way, like The Graham Bond Organtization or Brian Auger & The Trintiy.

‘So Far Away’ is admittedly interchangeable with many early singles by those mentioned or Booker T & The MG’s, Willie Mitchell, even James Brown’s Smash label instrumentals. Yet it’s one that I think of first, and seems to have graduated toward the top of an essentials list in general.

Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

Straight Ahead / Brian Auger's Oblivion Express

Listen: Straight Ahead / Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express
Straight Ahead / Brian Auger's Oblivion Express

Always the ultimate player, Brian Auger seems like he was a pro in the cradle. Go back to his earliest recordings, prior to the big success he had with ‘This Wheel’s On Fire’, billed as Julie Driscoll/Brian Auger & The Trinity. You’ll see his virtuosity was fully formed.

In the early 70′s, after Julie Driscoll went her solo route, he toured the world, initially as Brian Auger & The Trinity, quickly morphing into Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express, gaining US momentum the whole while. Sharing bills with every type of band (Bruce Springsteen, The Allman Brothers Band., Roland Kirk, Santana, Chick Corea, Led Zeppelin, Earth Wind & Fire, Kiss, Herbie Hancock), they provided just the right amount of high brow musicianship to ecstatically turn both jazz and rock audiences on.

Surprisingly, or unsurprisingly, their many records fell pretty short on US airplay, but sold well nonetheless.

Fast forward to the present, Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express is still playing, dare I say better than ever. I sat smack dab in front of him a few years back, when he shared a bill with an equally stunning Savoy Brown at B.B. King’s in New York, and you could hardly see anything but a blur from those hands.

They just don’t make ‘em like Brian Auger anymore. Sorry.

Brian Auger & The Trinity

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Listen: Black Cat / Brian Auger & The Trinity
Black Cat / Brian Auger & The Trinity

The daunting task of sorting a file drawer full of receipts houses a small pit in my stomach this time every year. The bit I always forget is the opportunity of stacking album sides it provides in the process. That $10 used Dual turntable from the Warner Brothers employee equipment sale in ’94 continues it’s amortization to a jaw dropping calculation. Yeah, the device still works perfectly.

God bless Vicki Wickham. She donated her album collection years ago to a most worthy cause: me. It’s rainy, cold days in March when they take on an even more intense warmth than usual. Now I will tell you, her taste was, still is, a black music timeline and history book of utmost class. Everything from delta folk to roadhouse RnB, it’s all there. And anything British from the era that did quality justice to those many genres, well that’s there too.

As a result, a beautiful original mono copy of Brian Auger & The Trinity’s DEFINITELY WHAT on Giorgio Gomelsky’s Marmalade Records was too glistening to pass over. I ended up playing both sides, and as usual, got sidetracked from the receipts over to the wall shelf, pulling out all Brian Auger related 7′s.

As with the ending of ‘This Wheel’s On Fire’, ‘Black Cat’ benefits from his lightning keyboard hand slashing on the fade. It’s signature Brian Auger, and a technique he uses live to this day.