London muso's rise from mod-bod to jazz-head across two CDs
Though lauded by the likes of Herbie Hancock and The Beastie Boys, this tight retrospective instead casts the largely unheralded Auger as the missing link between Georgie Fame and Sly Stone. Between 1964 and 1967 in particular, his floor-filling Hammond R&B?with Julie Driscoll on vocals?swung the capital’s clubs like a pill-popping retort to Booker T & The MGs, not least on the latter’s “Red Beans & Rice” and Staxy soul-stirrer “Save Me”. Hitting big with Dylan’s still-disorienting psychonaut “This Wheel’s On Fire” in 1968, the ’70s saw Auger’s reinvention as acid-jazz pioneer with his Oblivion Express, white-funk-heavy on “Freedom Jazz Dance” and “Listen Here”. A sampler’s paradise.