Brian Auger

Star Portrait

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Star Portrait is an excellent 18-track digest of Auger's work with Julie Driscoll and the Trinity, eschewing (for the most part) the expected hits and favorites in favor of a far-reaching survey of the team's true musical worth. The lion's share of the tracks catch Auger sharing the spotlight with Driscoll ("Light My Fire," the haunting "Czechoslovakia" and "When I Was a Young Girl," and the spellbinding rendering of Donovan's "Season of the Witch" are the standouts). But the remainder concentrates on the instrumental numbers that most collections ignore completely -- "Goodbye Jungle Telegraph," "Bumping on Sunset," a revolutionary rendering of the Beatles' "A Day in the Life," and so on. There's a welcome investigation of the Trinity's Jools-less Definitely What! album, and though there's nothing here that the committed Auger fan probably won't already own several times over, Star Portrait still ranks among the most thoughtful of all the many collections on display.

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