Barcelona Traction - s/t. 1975 Spain


Barcelona Traction - s/t. 1975 Oliba / Edigsa

CD reissues: 1996 PDI; 2009 Picap

Barcelona Traction was actually a Canadian utility company (later owned by Belgians) operating in Franco's Spain, to which he went to battle with in the 1960s trying to limit foreign business influence in "his" state. It resulted in a court battle.

I learned that trying to find something interesting about this band, which I failed to do, other than they started life as "The New Jazz Trio", which is telling. Well, Barcelona Traction is an interesting name then, isn't it? What does it have to do with the sound of the namesake band? Absolutely nothing.

In fact Barcelona Traction were a very early entry for jazz rock in Spain. They favored the sunny and the tropical, predicting a type of sound that would dominate the landscape for the next few years. Acoustic piano dominates the proceedings, while bass, drums, and percussion fill out the lineup. Rhodes and Mini-Moog provide much needed texture. Given that it is early in the continuum, I found this one to be a tad rawer than the usual slick cruise ship sounds. A very strong 3.5 (Gnosis 10), and a pleasant way to watch the sunset on a beach with a frozen margarita.

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