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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Dear Mr Fantasy - F/ the Music of Jim Capaldi'
(Various / DVD / NR / 2007 / Eagle Vision)

Overview: In January 2007 a fantastic line-up of guests gathered at the Roundhouse in London to pay tribute to the late Jim Capaldi of Traffic and to raise money for his children's charity The Landmark Trust. Old friends such as Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens), Pete Townshend of The Who, Joe Walsh of The Eagles, Jon Lord of Deep Purple, Gary Moore, Dennis Locorriere of Dr. Hook and of course his Traffic colleague Steve Winwood, were joined by younger admirers such as Paul Weller and The Storys to perform their favorite Traffic and Jim Capaldi tracks in front of a sell out audience.

DVD Verdict: History: Rehearsed and written at a cottage in the Berkshire countryside, Traffic's debut was former child prodigy Steve Winwood's first foray into headier territory after a stint playing R&B-fueled rock & roll with the Spencer Davis Group. Roundedout by drummer Jim Capaldi and multi-instrumentalists ChrisWood and Dave Mason, MR. FANTASY included experimentation with vaudeville-inspired numbers ("Berkshire Poppies"), flamenco-flavoured fantasy ("Dealer"), and sitar-drenched meditations ("Utterly Simple"). Winwood's inspired organ playing and soulful singing emerge on cuts like "Coloured Rain".

History Repeated: Even many Traffic fans probably aren't familiar with the extensive solo career of the band's cofounder Jim Capaldi. Therefore, this multi-artist, live tribute to the late singer/songwriter/drummer (also available on CD), recorded in January 2007 in London, will be a revelation to many who only know his work in conjunction with Steve Winwood. About half the 20 songs are selections from the late Capaldi's many solo releases, several of them relatively obscure. An all-star ensemble led by Winwood, Paul Weller, Joe Walsh, and Pete Townsend give the Traffic/Capaldi catalog a spin with impressive results.

Although bandmate Dave Mason is conspicuous by his absence, the cast also features Bad Company's Simon Kirke, blues rocker Gary Moore, longtime Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord, and Capaldi's brother Phil, all interpreting tunes Capaldi wrote or co-wrote. Aside from the Traffic material, he was best known for ballads such as the lovely "Lost Inside Your Love" (gracefully performed here by singer Stevie Lange) and the Eagles hit "Love Will Keep Us Alive," which closes the program on a melancholy note. This is one profound and extremely heartfelt tribute to a sadly overlooked talent. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, but does not come with any Special Features.