UK, 1971, progressive rock

TrafficThe Low Spark of High Heeled Boys

Starts off with some soothing, pastoral flutes but then takes a sharp left turn into some fine rock piano riffs and sweltering saxophone phrasings on the title track. A cool jazz-rock feel, but how the hell did a 12-minute song become a radio hit? Where did they pare it down? I think the atmosphere of the title track is just perfect–like you leave your apartment building in the city and just stroll down the street, and this is the music at your heels. It is, as the story of the song’s creation goes, “at the street level”. The extended, playful use of the organ here is also excellent. Then they carry on into the next track with a right turn into some groovy, funky rock. Basically, a lot of variety here. The flutes saw you in; the flutes will see you out.

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