First, some kind of "background"...
I "discovered" this álbum in mid eighties, in the wake of Winwood`s "Back in the high life" success. on my teens.
At that time, the independent labels were rising, bringing forth the talents of The Smiths, The Cure, among others,
breaking through the bunch of disposable artists (you name them!). Remember, I`m talking of 80's brazilian perspective
of international pop/rock!
I already knew sounds from the past, like favourites from classic rock era (Beatles, Hendrix, Joplin, Zeppelin) and some prog rock luminaires (Genesis, Yes, Floyd). But Traffic was a different story.
Long songs and free jamming was nothing new to me, but these guys got something else.
The sound overall is pretty much accoustic. Even when rich harmonies appear, the groove is rocking in textures with
african percussion coloring the usual drums sounds. Sax, piano, flute and guitar alternates in the lead, driving songs with folk, rock and R&B roots.
This unique blend of elements could be indigest. With Winwood and Capaldi as Chefs, becomes a fine recipe.
The church boy voice and melodic talent of Winwood, and the rhythm mastery and raspy voice of Capaldi are fantastic on their own. Combined, is pure gold.
My old favourites are "hidden treasure", transcendent in Winwood`s voice, and the title track, a delightful (and imperceptible) 12 minutes jamming class in one lesson! My new favourites are "r`n`r stew", more powerful in this remastered back to black vinyl edition, and "many a mile to freedom", richer in subtle details. Nice pressing, with a voucher for free download in btb`s website.
All in all, a wonderful pleasure, the same from almost 30 years ago, sounding better than ever. How many records can make you feel that way?
Highly recommended for lovers of folk, rock, jazz, african and latin rhythms, and, more especially, of life!!!