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Traffic - On The Road CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.10 | 77 ratings

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4 stars In December 1971, Jim Capaldi recorded his first solo album, titled "Oh How We Danced", mainly in the Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, in Alabama, U.S. (with other two songs recorded in London). He recruited for these recording sessions the musicians who owned the studios, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section: Roger Hawkins (drums), David Hood (bass), Barry Beckett (piano, organ) and Jimmy Johnson (guitar). These musicians also recorded albums with many artists as session musicians (with Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, etc.).Capaldi`s album was released in 1972. Also in late 1971, Jim Gordon (drums) and Ric Grech (bass) left Traffic. So, when Traffic wanted to record a new album in 1972, they invited Roger Hawkins and David Hood to be members of the band. They recorded the "Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory" album. They went to tour for this album. They also filmed one of their concerts during 1972, which was released as a video called "Live in Santa Monica" (it was available on a VHS video some years ago). For the rest of the tour in 1972-73, Traffic added Barry Beckett to the line-up. This "On the Road" album was recorded by this line-up which now included Barry Beckett, in Germany, in 1973. (Jimmy Johnson is credited in this album as "Sound Mixer" during that tour). IMO, this is the best live album that Traffic recorded. This line- up is very good, better, IMO, than the 1971 line-up which recorded the "Welcome to the Canteen" and "The Low Spark of High- Heeled Boys" albums.The Muscle Shoals musicians are very good, sounding with a lot of experience to follow improvisations without problems. So, this album is really very good, and it shows that one of Traffic`s best qualities was their talent to improvise during structured compositions. In this album, Jim Capaldi is credited with playing percussion, vocals, and also playing the drums, but I can`t say when he is playing the drums. Roger Hawkins really shines on this album, playing very good. Barry Beckett is a very good pianist and organist. His participation in Traffic allowed Steve Winwood to play the guitar in some songs. Beckett plays the organ in other songs when Winwood plays the piano. The album starts with two songs from the "John Barleycorn Must Die" album: a long version of "Glad", with a lot of influence from jazz-rock music, and "Freedom Rider". "Tragic Magic" is an instrumental composition by Chris Wood. "(Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired" is a very good live version, with Winwood on lead guitar. "Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory" is the most "rocker" song in this album. "Light Up or Leave Me Alone" is a song composed and sung by Jim Capaldi, mostly a very good Pop song, during which he introduces the members of the band. "Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys" is a song which a duration of almost 18 minutes, with a lot of improvisation again (maybe Capaldi played drums in this song, with Hawkins too, but I`m not sure). This album has a very good recording and mixing. But I think that Steve Winwood sometimes sounds tired, maybe of being "on the road" for several months.
Guillermo | 4/5 |


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