Brian Auger (born 18 July 1939, London, England) is a jazz and rock keyboardist, who has specialised in playing the Hammond organ.
A jazz pianist, bandleader, session musician and Hammond B3 player, Auger has played or toured with artists such as Rod Stewart, Tony Williams, Jimi Hendrix,John McLaughlin, Sonny Boy Williamson, Led Zeppelin, Eric Burdon and others. He has incorporated jazz, early British pop, R&B, soul music and rock, and he has been nominated for a Grammy.
In 1965 Auger formed the group The Steampacket, along with Long John Baldry, Julie Driscoll, Vic Briggs and Rod Stewart. With Driscoll and the band, Trinity, he went on to record several hit singles, notably a cover version of David Ackles' "Road to Cairo" and Bob Dylan's "This Wheel's on Fire", which was featured on Dylan Covered. In 1969 Auger, Driscoll and Trinity appeared performing in the United States on the nationally telecast 33⅓ Revolutions Per Monkee.
In 1970 he formed Brian Auger's Oblivion Express, shortly after abandoning the abortive "Wassenaar Arrangement" jazz-fusion commune in a small suburb of The Hague. The Oblivion Express served to cultivate several musicians, including future The Average White Band drummers Robbie McIntosh and Steve Ferrone, as well as guitarist Jim Mullen. Likewise, in 1971 he produced and appeared on Mogul Thrash's only album, Mogul Thrash. Two members of that band, Roger Ball and Malcolm Duncan, would also go on to form the Average White Band.
In 1986, he played keyboards for the Italian singer Mango on the album Odissea.
In 1989, Auger was musical director for the thirteen-part film retrospective series Villa Fantastica, made for German TV. A live recording of the series, Super Jam (1990), features Auger on piano, Pete York on drums, Dick Morrissey on tenor saxophone, Roy Williams on trombone, Harvey Weston on bass guitar, with singers Zoot Money and Maria Muldaur.
Auger toured with blues rocker Eric Burdon in the early 1990s, and recorded the live album Access All Areas with him in 1993. After several projects, including albums with family members, he reformed the Oblivion Express in the late 1990s, with a line-up that eventually featured both his son and daughter.
The Oblivion Express was revived with a 2005 recording and subsequent touring. The group featured Brian Auger, his son Karma Auger on drums, his daughter Savannah Auger on vocals, and Derek Frank on bass.
In 2012, Auger released one of the few solo albums of his career, Language of the Heart, produced by Tea. It features Jeff "Skunk" Baxter and Julian Coryell on guitars.
Auger is currently recording with Latin Rock legends El Chicano and is featured on B3 Organ in several tracks from El Chicano's most recent studio album due to be released in April 2014.
In 2014 Brian Auger and the Oblivion Express played at the KJAZZ festival in Los Angeles and toured in Japan and Europe with the following line-up: son Karma Auger on drums, daughter Ali Auger on vocals, Alex Ligertwood on vocals, Yarone Levy on guitar, Les King on bass and Travis Carlton on bass.
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