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Santana - Abraxas CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.24 | 538 ratings

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5 stars If Pink Floyd is prog then Santana is progressive prog! LOL!


I first listened to this recording when I was 10 or 11 years old. It was given to me by my dad's cousin, a guy who had an extensive record collection(to put it mildly). I will say this, to wrap things up in a nutshell: In retrospect, this recording and ELP's Tarkus have been THE MOST influential records I've ever listened to. So perhaps my review of Abraxas is a bit tainted.

I say this because right about the time I was cranking up Abraxas I began to take piano and organ lessons. Undoubtedly Greg Rollies' playing on Abraxas was my biggest influence during that time period. Looking back, Rollie was my first keyboard hero.

This record EASILY earns FIVE stars. However, I will note that to those who don't particularly like latin music(ie salsa beats and other conga driven percussive styles) you may find the recording less than stellar. On the other hand, if you've "progressed" beyond rock and moved on to fusion styles encompassing jazz, latin and african music forms, then Abraxas should be a MANDATORY listen.

Abraxas was "world music" before the term was invented. Josef Zawinul would like to take credit for inventing "world music", and I'd hate to argue with ol' Joe, but certainly Santana, and particularly on Abraxas, makes a case for the Mexican kid from SF as being a co- inventor!

Without going into too much detail about every piece on this album, suffice to say that EVERY song is EXCELLENT, with some being flat-out MASTERPIECES. This record offers everything from searing guitar solos to the most beautiful balad(Samba Pa Ti) and some of THE MOST important keyboard(Hammond B-3 in particular) work EVER put on tape(yes, kids, tape not hard disk!).

I'd recommend this CD to every prog fan, from every walk of life. I'm biased toward the keys because I'm a keyboardist, and Rollie's work on Abraxas is up there with ANYTHING by Emerson; but in a latin/blues setting.

If you like percussion you will be blown away by Chepito Area's conga work. Sublime is an understatement.

And of course, Carlos.....what can you say! Abraxas is a museum piece for tasteful electric guitar. No shredding here; just beautiful solos and solid comping by a modern guitar master.

***** FIVE stars. A masterpiece of progressive music.

jrfernan | 5/5 |


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