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Barcelona Traction - Nano CD (album) cover


Barcelona Traction


Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.13 | 4 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars In JazzArchives I would rate this 2nd and last album by this Spanish trio with 3 or 4 stars, this is a good Jazz album but judged as a Prog album it is neither a good one nor bad one, it's simply not a Prog album.

Their 1975 debut had also a clear Jazz foundation but it was enough soaked in the Prog- Fusion of the epoch to deserve being considered as a genuine Fusion album. Soon after releasing the debut the band's mastermind keyboardist Lucky Guri left to Musica Urbana and although Barcelona Traction continued playing for a while in the Barcelona Jazz Clubs circuit with replacement keyboardist Josep Maria Duran, they eventually disbanded without having recorded any other album.

In 1981 the three original members Guri, bassist Jordi Clua and drummer Francis Rabassa reunited to release this last album in 1982, with collaborations by Josep Maria Duran and guitarist Josep Maria Bardagi.

By the early 80's the Prog atmosphere was gone and Guri was essentially a Jazz pianist, and so it reflects in this album. The Rhodes and Moog are mostly replaced by classical piano and soft synth patches. The bass and drums are much simpler, with the bass replaced by contrabass in a couple of songs. There are a few supporting guitar solos but always in a rather muted low-pitch sound, quite in the background.

To further make it clear that this is a Jazz album, only the first three songs are original compositions by Guri while the last three are covers of classic Jazz standards.

The opener Pista Libre has a very funky and groovy constant bass line on which the syncopated piano melody and several solos develop.

Traction Rhapsody No.1 is the kind of music you could hear in the lounge bar of a cruise boat, it starts with a very good melancholic piano intro and grows in intensity, towards the end it even has an interesting energetic section which can be considered as a short drum solo on the base of the other instruments.

A Trio is pure pre-bob Jazz. Piano, contrabass and drums played with brushes, transporting you to some dark Jazz Club in a basement of New York in the late night hours, the air filled with cigar smoke and scents of bourbon. Very good but certainly not Prog-Rock.

The next three songs are covers. Red Clay by Freddie Hubbard has the trumpet replaced by Rhodes for the melody and acoustic piano and some guitar for the solos.

Yesterdays is a standard from the 30's by Jerome Kern extensively performed by the likes of Art Tatum, Frank Sinatra or Ella Fitgerald. In the beginning it respects the original slow tempo but then shifts to a faster latin-like rhythm.

Finally Blues In Elf by Don Ellis is a quintessential blues with only the particularity that it's on a 11/8 beat. Like all good Jazz covers these last three pieces are played with an own take at them, not just recreating the originals.

If you like melodic Jazz this is a good album, but you will not find any Prog in here.

Gerinski | 2/5 |


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