Traffic The Last Great Traffic Jam 1994

The Last Great Traffic Jam is the punning title of a live album and DVD by Traffic.

It was recorded during their reunion tour in 1994 as the support act for the Grateful Dead.

Traffic The Last Great Traffic Jam

My Rating – 28 out of 30 (10 + 10 +8)

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Songs on Traffic The Last Great Traffic Jam

1. Pearly Queen – 5:36 (originally on the album called Traffic)
2. Medicated Goo – 5:59 (Last Exit)
3. Mozambique – 5:31 (Far From Home)
4. 40,000 Headmen – 4:15 (Traffic)
5. Glad – 6:54 (John Barleycorn Must Die)
6. Light Up Or Leave Me Alone – 16:28 (Low Spark Of the High Heeled Boys)
7. Walking In The Wind – 7:13 (When The Eagle Flies)
8. The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys 14:38 (Low Spark Of the High Heeled Boys)
9. John Barleycorn (Must Die) – 6:58 (from the album John Barleycorn Must Die)
10. Dear Mr. Fantasy – 7:45 (Mr Fantasy)
11. Gimme Some Lovin’ – 7:26 (from Steve Winwood’s time with the Spencer Davis Group)

We have 88 minutes from a support band and thank goodness. By picking songs from across the band’s career, it is a lovely summary and whilst I’m left wanting more, we have enough music to pass my stingy test which costs albums marks. The melodies and tunes come over well and I’m happy to give the set list 10/10.

Playing on the album are:

Original members:

Steve Winwood – lead vocals, keyboards, guitar
Jim Capaldi – drums, lead vocals (on tracks 8 and 10), backing vocals, percussion

Assisted by:
Randall Bramblett – flute, saxophone
Michael McEvoy – keyboards, guitar, viola, harmonica
Rosko Gee – bass
Walfredo Reyes, Jr. – percussion, drums

Jerry Garcia from the Grateful Dead guest stars on guitar on Dear Mr. Fantasy.

The performance is also excellent.Top notch musicians having a lot of fun while not over-doing their improvisations, they stop any accusations of pointless noodling where notes no longer sound good next to each other. It’s another 10/10 rating on performance.

In the atmosphere and authenticity category, it does lose marks. Given the importance of flute and saxophone, can you have a genuine Traffic album without Chris Wood. I was sceptical but doubts have gone away after playing it time and again. It’s also a revival band, twenty years too late and often these are cash-ins that live off nostalgia. The band were back briefly recording in the studio but I’m only rating it as 8/10 in my third category.

That makes a total of 28/30, just one off the maximum I’ve given to any album.

I realise I should be criticising it because so many of the original members of the band are missing but I think this is a terrific album. On The Road from 1973, is the live album that normally gets lots of praise and it is very good but I keep getting drawn back to The Last Great Traffic Jam.

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Buying Traffic The Last Great Traffic Jam

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