Sunday, 25 October 2009

Dollar Daze: Brian Auger, Julie Driscoll & The Trinity - Open


Black Cat

At the end of August I scored 400 LPs for $400 from the yard sale of a veteran collector/record fair trader. He was liquidating after buying a Harley and a cottage and there were a few dozen boxes laid out with a handful of people picking through them. It was a lot of superb psych, surf, freakbeat, garage rock and other goodies of the genre with a smattering of soul, doo-wop and jazz. At first I was reticent to grab much since the LPs had no pricing and I knew some of them were worth quite a bit. However, when the gentleman came up and told me everything was a buck, I kinda went off the deep end.

Then, a few weeks back while on a business trip to TO, I poked my head into a thrift store and walked out an hour later with another 100 bucks worth of dollar LPs spanning from soundtracks, R&B, and jazz to comedy, classical and obscure ethnic delights. That means 500 records to get through on top of a crazy hectic schedule and very little time to listen to them and write up posts, let alone rip the vinyl, clean it up then scan and stitch the covers. Rather than do something silly like take another few months off until I could put up something worthwhile, I thought I'd switch it up a bit. That means interspersed amongst the occasional OOP vinyl rip over the next few weeks, I'll also provide a quick write up of some of the albums I grabbed and point you in the direction of someone who has already provided the goods in the blogosphere.

We'll kick things off with Brian Auger, Julie Driscoll & The Trinity's Open, a record that I've been very familiar with since it was introduced to me in the early 90s by my mentor, Sideshow Sid, but one I have never actually owned. Since posts featuring the Hammond B3 have always proven to be quite popular here at Soundological, this is one set I highly recommend to those of you who are not familiar with Auger's oeuvre - often cited as one of the main influences on the acid jazz scene that would come 20 years later.

Elusive Disc sez
One of the icons of London's underground jazzy mod scene, Brian Auger puzzled more than one music critic bringing this crossover to perfection during the mid-late sixties. 1967's Open sees Auger switch to a more hippy folk acid R&B with the help of Julie Driscoll - his female partner already featured in his earlier project, the Steampacket. Driscoll performs in her perfectly trendy disjointed vocal style over Auger's Hammond aural carpet to createsome interesting pop r'n'b tunes culminating in the fabulous cover version of Donovan's "Season Of The Witch".

Dusty Groove sez
Open is great stuff -- one of the amazing early albums from the team of Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger -- kind of a next-generation to the Brit beat group sound of the mid 60s -- one that moves beyond simple R&B modes, to bring in more sophisticated soul and jazz touches! Driscoll's vocals are amazing -- some of the boldest belted out in the British scene at the time -- and Auger's Hammond work really cooks throughout -- at a level that easily makes him one of the best UK organists to hit the scene, amidst some very heady company in the 60s. There's a few bluesy moments, but our favorites are the funky ones -- especially the group's reading of "Season Of The Witch", which is tremendous. Other cuts include "In & Out", "Black Cat", "Goodbye Jungle Telegraph", and "Break It Up". CD also features 5 bonus tracks -- "Red Beans & Rice (parts 1 & 2)", "Save Me", "I've Gotta Go Now", "This Wheel's On Fire", and "The Road To Cairo".

AMG Review
by Thom Jurek
From the outgrowth of Steampacket, a band that included not only Brian Auger and Julie Driscoll, but also a young Rod Stewart, came Auger and Driscoll's collective effort that produced two albums. When Driscoll left in 1969 to pursue a solo career, Auger, drummer Clive Thacker, and bassist Dave Ambrose continued as Brian Auger & the Trinity. Open has been unfairly characterized as a kind of groove jazz rip, one that combines Wes Montgomery, Jimmy McGriff, and the rock sensibilities of the psychedelic era. Whatever. There are many tracks here, from deep grooved funky jazz to lilting ballads and greasy blues numbers and the skronky exotica number "Goodbye Jungle Telegraph."

Auger may not have been as gifted an organist as Alan Price technically, but he could more than hold his own on the Hammond B-3 (as evidenced by the first two tracks here which are instrumentals, "In And Out" and "Isola Nate"). He was also able to pull more sounds out of the instrument than any of his peers. Auger wasn't much of a vocalist, but he could dig deep and get the emotion out of a song — especially in a funky number like "Black Cat," which featured a killer though uncredited studio horn section.

Driscoll's contributions are all on the second half of the album, beginning with the shuffling choogle of Lowell Fulsom's "Tramp," continuing through a moving reading of Pops Staples' "Why (Am I Treated So Bad)," two Auger originals, and concluding in a reading of Donovan's "Season of the Witch" that single-handedly established her reputation as a vocalist of great interpretative ability and emotional dexterity. Almost eight minutes in length, it is the perfect interplay for the quartet with its dark, smoky swirling energy and extant soul groove, and capos the album on a high note, making it a delightful precursor to the classic Streetnoise which was to follow.

Brian Auger - Keyboards, Vocals
Julie Driscoll - Vocals
Gary Boyle - Guitar
Dave Ambrose - Bass
Clive Thacker - Drums

1 Tramp
2 Why (Am I Treated So Bad)
3 A Kind Of Love-In
4 Break It Up
5 Season Of The Witch
6 In & Out
7 Isola Natale
8 Black Cat
9 Lament For Miss Baker
10 Goodbye Jungle Telegraph

Open up a hi-res rip over at The sweet harmonies and be sure to say "thanks!"

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Baretta - Great Adventures

Baretta: Great Adventures

256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from Wonderland WLP 309

And now for something completely different...

I ripped this one before checking to see if it had been posted and, to my double-delight, it had not plus I found my way to the Franklin Mint Blog, a
super awesome compendium of 70s kiddie pop culture where I picked up a load of these cool Wonderland LPs. It saved me the trouble of digitizing a few, although I may get around to doing Godzilla one of these days.

As you can tell from the excerpts, there's some dope library music throughout these positively riveting suspense stories and even a break or two that might be worth lifting. Dude doesn't sound anything like Robert Blake but hey, the kids listening to this likely weren't old enough to catch the late-night gritty adult detective drama during its heydey, so whadda they know?

1 Polly Wants A Cracker
2 Pretty As A Picture
3 Payment On Demand

Oh yeah, Polly? Well, Soundological's got your cracker right HERE. (Link updated May 23, 2013)