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January 6th, 2013


Brian Auger's Oblivion Express - Bumpin' On Sunset

I wonder if Brian Auger's Oblivion Express count as a guilty pleasure? On the one hand they were a jazz/rock/soul fusion outfit from the '70s, and thus prime candidates for typifying much of what was dodgy about that decade's music. (And in later years they did succumb somewhat to that.) On the other, the twin pleasures of Hammond B3 and a band who could sit so snugly inside a piece of music that it seemed to fit them like a second skin. This is best heard on the two albums they recorded live at the Whisky a Go Go, where they got a bit more space to play the music rather than just the song. From their 1974 release Live Oblivion, Vol. 1, here's their take on Wes Montgomery's Bumpin' On Sunset1. Don't be fooled by the subdued licks, it's all about keeping that dirty sound reined in tight so that when it explodes into a shower of warmth it feels all the better.

1. The Whisky a Go Go club is on Sunset Boulevard, so it's almost as if they're taking the tune home.

Brian Auger's Oblivion Express - Bumpin' On Sunset
(alternate download)