Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Traffic: Glad/Freedom Rider

Tasty Licks Tuesday and a set of songs that showcase the bass and keyboard work of Steve Winwood, the drums and percussion of the late Jim Capaldi, and the flute and horns of Chris Wood – Traffic’s “Glad” and "Freedom Rider" from 1970. This tasty instrumental opens my favorite Traffic LP, “John Barleycorn Must Die.” It was a return for Traffic after Blind Faith had disbanded.

Not only is it my favorite Traffic LP, it was the band’s most successful album in the US charting at #5. There’s not a bad cut on this album. “Glad,” however, shows some jazz influence on Winwood’s playing. I remember taping this song off WDVE in Pittsburgh and learning Winwood’s lick on my mom’s piano. I hope you enjoy this tune as much as I do. “Glad” merges with “Freedom Rider,” which is also included.

Live Version from Woodstock 1994

Like the original album release, the song segues into “Freedom Rider.” The only original Traffic members on this recording are Winwood on piano and vocals and Capaldi on drums – a role he had moved away from in the later years of Traffic to concentrate on percussion and vocals. I’m not sure who the reed player is, but it is definitely not Chris Wood as he died 11 years early.

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