Brian Auger's Oblivion Express

Voices of Other Times

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Released a week before his 61st birthday, Brian Auger's return to recording under the aegis of the Oblivion Express marks both a look back at his heyday and a continuance of his style of music. That style is a species of soul-jazz familiar from the 1960s and leading into the funky jazz-rock fusion of the early '70s. Indeed, four of the album's ten selections are remakes of songs drawn from Auger's back catalog: "Isola Natale" from his debut album Open (1967); "Indian Rope Man" from Streetnoise (1968); "Voices of Other Times" from Closer to It! (1973); and "Never Gonna Come Down" from Happiness Heartaches (1977). Whether originals or covers, the new recordings testify to Auger's jazz influences, often overtly -- the Latin-styled piano/organ excursion "Victor's Delight" is dedicated to Victor Feldman, while Marcus Miller's "Splatch" is borrowed from Miles Davis' Tutu album. The all-new edition of the Oblivon Express heard on the album is a family affair, with Auger's son Karma playing drums and producing and daughter Savannah singing on eight tracks, augmented by guitarist Chris Clermont and bass player Dan Lutz. Nearly 40 years into Auger's career, they make for what is virtually a repertory band devoted to a musical style that old fans will recall fondly, so that they can play this album alongside the CD reissues of the keyboard player's vintage recordings.

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