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Traffic - Live at Santa Monica  CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.77 | 11 ratings

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4 stars I remember that in the mid or late seventies there were in one T.V. channel in my city musical programmes which broadcasted live clips or promotional videos from some bands. I remember watching the T.V. as a child to some of those programmes artists like Leon Russell (who had some female back singers who were pretty!), The Who, Traffic, etc. One of these T.V. musical programmes was called "Alta Tension" ("High Tension"), and it was the only time until recently that I saw Traffic playing in concert, but I can`t remember now if these live clips were taken from this Santa Monica concert film.

This concert was filmed in February 1972, with new members Roger Hawkins and David Hood, both members of the very good and famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (the other two members were/are guitarist Jimmy Johnson and keyboard player Barry Beckett). These four musicians played on Jim Capaldi`s first solo album which he recorded in December 1971 in the Muscle Shoals Studios in Alabama (the album also includes two songs recorded in London, one of which was recorded with the Traffic 1971 line-up of Capaldi (who played piano very well ), Winwood, Wood, Ric Grech, Reebop and Jim Gordon). This solo album, called "Oh How We Danced" was released in early 1972 (by the way, it is a very good album which unfortunately seems to be out of print in the present, but was released on CD in 1996 by Edsel Records). After Grech and Gordon left Traffic, Capaldi invited Hawkins and Hood to join Traffic as members for touring and also for studio recordings. It seems that they joined the band in early 1972, so this video shows them still trying to fit in the style of the band, but both play very well. I don`t know why Capaldi didn`t want to play the drums as he appears on front of the stage dancing and playing a tambourine or maracas apart from singing lead vocals on "Light Me Up or Leave Me Alone" which was composed by him, and backing vocals in other songs. Winwood plays organ, piano and guitar apart from being the main lead singer. Wood plays flute, electric sax (with some sound effects sounding sometimes like he was using a wah-wah pedal) and he sometimes plays piano or organ while Winwood played the guitar or piano or organ (like in "Dear Mr. Fantasy" , "Light Me Up or Leave Me Alone"). Reebop also plays very well his percussion instruments, and also has a percussion solo in one of the songs.

This is a very good video which shows how important was Wood as member of Traffic, and also shows how good was this band. This same line-up augmented by Barry Beckett on piano and organ (who joined the band until 1973) recorded the very good live album called "On the Road" (which also lists in the credits Jimmy Johnson as sound engineer). The "On the Road" album shows the band in better sound with the Muscle Shoals musicians playing even better, but this video is a good companion to the album, in my opinion. It also has some "psychedelic visual effects" which work well with the music .

Guillermo | 4/5 |


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