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Auger, Brian

jazz guitar drums bass

Auger, Brian, British jazz organist, pianist, and composer; b. London, July 18, 1939. Auger was known as an early jazz-rock exponent. He was voted Best New Jazz Artist by Melody Maker in 1964, and created an R&B group, Trinity, that same year with John McLaughlin. The group later included Rick Brown on bass and Mickey Waller on drums. It became known as Steampacket after adding vocalists Long John Baldry and Rod Stewart from Baldy’s Hoochie Coochie Men, as well as Vic Briggs on guitar and vocalist Julie Driscoll (who later married jazz pianist Keith Tippetts). Steampacket’s vocalists were showcased separately on stage, as was Auger with instrumentais. His distinctive, distorted organ sound was produced by playing the Hammond through a guitar valve amplifier. Ego problems split the group and Auger re-formed Trinity until 1970, at which time the group included Dave Ambrose, bass; Gary Boyle, guitar; and Clive Thacker, drums. He then joined the American jazz-rock group Oblivion Express, with various personnel, followed by reunions of the earlier groups. Auger divided his time between working in the U.S. and Europe, enjoying considerable success. In 1985 he joined up temporarily with a re-formed Spencer Davis Group, then led his own group, Blues Revival. For the next decade, he worked mainly out of Los Angeles. In April 1996, he returned to London and played dates with a new version of Oblivion Express.

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