Brian Auger's Oblivion Express

Complete Live Oblivion

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As a retrospective collection, this two-disc set provides an excellent introduction to the Oblivion Express's music of the early '70s. Brian Auger's distinctive organ and percussive electric piano attack lead the way, defining the group's sound. Guitarist Jack Mills may lean a little too heavily on the wah-wah effect popular at the time, and Alex Ligertwood's vocals may be an acquired taste, but the total package is very strong, a potent mix of jazz and rock. Mixing covers of funky jazz classics like Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage" and Eddie Harris' "Freedom Jazz Dance" with "Happiness is Just Around the Bend" and other originals, this recording captures Auger and cohorts at the peak of their powers, stretching out at the Whisky a Go Go in 1974. Throughout, these guys really cook, taking the music into new directions only hinted at on earlier studio efforts, showing how exciting the jazz-rock blend could be.

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