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Crate Digger’s Gold: Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express – Straight Ahead

October 24, 2011

The stand out track for me is a cover of Wes Montgomery’s Bumpin’ on Sunset (thankfully no vocals to mess it up).  A very mellow track that is crying for a deep laconic bass rap over it.  This is late night after several cocktails slip off your socks music.

I am no expert on Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express, but the few albums I have picked up are amazing.  They mix funk, rock and jazz rock fusion.  Allegedly this is one of their weaker sets.  By my ears this is pretty cool stuff.  The only hitch is they tend to have some pretty sappy vocals.  But the instrumentals and the music behind the vocals is pretty amazing. Fortunately even on the vocal songs – the vocals tend to be short – with the instrumentation taking front and center

Auger plays a variety of keyboards.  The drums and congas will knock your socks off.  Guitar and bass are very funky.  If I was hip hop producer there would be some pretty tasty samples here.  This recording is from 1974, but it has a timeless quality to it (except for those damn vocals that make it dated as hell).  I swear Steely Dan must have been inspired by some of these tracks.

Here is live version of Bumpin’ on Sunset from the same era that will give you the feel.  Unfortunately it included sappy vocals (get over them – it is worth it).

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