30 Songs, 2 Hours 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

During Traffic's initial run, the band ventured into everything from psychedelia and folk rock to funky jazz fusion. This anthology makes all the key stops along Traffic's trail for a portrait of a group that never stopped evolving. Steve Winwood was still a teen at the time of Traffic's 1967 debut album. (He had just graduated from his "Little Stevie Winwood" phase as The Spencer Davis Group's boy wonder singer/keyboardist; he did his musical growing up in public.) It's a thrill to hear Winwood's vision coming of age alongside Chris Wood's warm, soulful sax and flute and Jim Capaldi's loose-limbed drumming. Traffic's early period was distinguished by paisley-patterned psychedelia ("Paper Sun," "Hole in My Shoe"), with Wood adding dashes of folk and jazz. Sung by the soon-to-depart Dave Mason, "Feelin' Alright?" shows that the band's R&B influences weren't confined to Winwood's time with Davis. And while Traffic could turn out greasy rockers like "Rock and Roll Stew, Pts. 1 & 2," the art-rock expansiveness of "Rainmaker" and "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" exemplifies this crew's questing spirit.

EDITORS’ NOTES

During Traffic's initial run, the band ventured into everything from psychedelia and folk rock to funky jazz fusion. This anthology makes all the key stops along Traffic's trail for a portrait of a group that never stopped evolving. Steve Winwood was still a teen at the time of Traffic's 1967 debut album. (He had just graduated from his "Little Stevie Winwood" phase as The Spencer Davis Group's boy wonder singer/keyboardist; he did his musical growing up in public.) It's a thrill to hear Winwood's vision coming of age alongside Chris Wood's warm, soulful sax and flute and Jim Capaldi's loose-limbed drumming. Traffic's early period was distinguished by paisley-patterned psychedelia ("Paper Sun," "Hole in My Shoe"), with Wood adding dashes of folk and jazz. Sung by the soon-to-depart Dave Mason, "Feelin' Alright?" shows that the band's R&B influences weren't confined to Winwood's time with Davis. And while Traffic could turn out greasy rockers like "Rock and Roll Stew, Pts. 1 & 2," the art-rock expansiveness of "Rainmaker" and "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" exemplifies this crew's questing spirit.

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