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Traffic - The Last Great Traffic Jam CD (album) cover

THE LAST GREAT TRAFFIC JAM

Traffic

 

Eclectic Prog

3.76 | 7 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Guillermo
Prog Reviewer
4 stars In the final credits of this DVD, I could see that this DVD was produced by Steve Winwood mainly to remember his friend and songwriting partner Jim Capaldi, who died in early 2005. There is a dedication to him from Winwood, and also a dedication which says that these concert performances were dedicated to the late musicians Jerry Garcia, Chris Wood and Reebop Kwaku Baah. Capaldi also dedicates their performance of "40000 Headmen" to Chris Wood. So, the reunion of Traffic in 1994 brought a lot of memories for many people, including Capaldi and Winwood themselves.

Why it took a lot of time (more than ten years!) to release this very good DVD? I don`t know if their 1994 Tour was very successful or not, but seeing the fans dancing and smiling made me think that Traffic`s reunion was a very good thing for many people. I don`t know why the band split after this tour. Maybe Capaldi and Winwood were not very happy touring, but their performances show them being very happy, smiling and enjoying playing together again. The other members of the band are very good musicians, but something is missing, obviously Chris Wood`s presence and playing on stage. But, the line-up is very good, particularly Cuban percussionist Walfredo Reyes Jr., who in my opinion, with Roscoe Gee too, is the musician whose playing`s style sounds better adapted to Traffic`s music. Sax & flute player Randall Bramblett is a very good and professional musician, and it is obvious that he knew that replacing Chris Wood wasn`t going to be an easy thing to do, so he plays in his own style without trying to copy Wood`s playing style. Mike McEvoy ( keyboards, guitars) also did a very good and professional job.

The video had my attention all the time while I was watching it. There are some funny commentaries done by the musicians in interviews which are included between the concert performances. This DVD also shows Jim Capaldi`s good humour, and maybe this made him to be a very good friend of George Harrison`s, who also was very known among friends and fans as a man with a very good humour. Recently, I also watched the "Concert for George" DVD, and Capaldi appears in that concert playing drums in one song and percussion in many songs. In this Traffic`s DVD, is good to see him playing drums in most songs (with the exception of "Low Spark..." and "Light Up...", on which he plays congas and other percussion instruments). He also sang lead vocals in his song "Light Up..." and, yes, I also think, like the previous reviewer did, that his voice wasn`t in a very good shape then. But it doesn`t matter very much, because he seems to be enjoying a lot singing and playing with Traffic again.

The stage lights and screen projections also had very good psychedelic designs which also added enjoyement to the music. Jerry Garcia`s appearance in "Dear Mr. Fantasy" shows him not being in very good shape (in fact he died in mid 1995), but maybe Winwood wanted to include his friend`s appearance in this DVD as a tribute to him. The final credits don`t mention where these concerts were recorded. It is clear to me that they were recorded during their U.S. 1994 tour, but "Dear Mr. Fantasy" was filmed in Mudstock 1994...em, no, in Woodstock 1994, which in my opinion as a Festival wasn`t very representative of the sixties` music (it had many new bands and very few of the old artists from the sixties). Obviously Traffic wasn`t playing as a band in August 1969 when the original Woodstock Festival was done, because they split for the first time in early 1969. Maybe Blind Faith could have played in Woodstock in 1969. I don`t know why they didn`t play there.

In conclusion, this is a very good DVD which shows the band playing their old songs very well. The only thing that I don`t like very much was that they only included one song from their "Far From Home" allbum ("Mozambique"). I think that the inclusion of more songs from their 1994 album could have been very interesting to see on this DVD.

Guillermo | 4/5 |

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