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Santana - Santana CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.13 | 409 ratings

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4 stars When you really think about it, this was an absolutely amazing debut album: to have such power, force, consistency, progressivity, while still producing multiple hits--for both FM and AM radio! Simply unheard of (in the prog/Jazz-rock fusion world). Albeit, Carlos and crew don't really fully enter the fold of true prog until their third and fourth albums and his collaborations with Buddy Miles, John McLaughlin, and Alice Coltrane, there are definitely songs and features of both the debut and Abraxas that bear awe from even the most proggy of critics. Compare this album to the debuts of Jazz-Rockers like CHICAGO or NUCLEUS, THE SOFT MACHINE or COLOSSEUM, BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS or THE FREE SPIRITS and you have to give Carlos and company their due. From the opening cymbal, percussion and organ lines of the album's opening song, "Waiting" you know you're in for something special. And then you go into the classic 60s hit, "Evil Ways" which, despite it's SLY & THE FAMILY STONE start, really cooks as it gets deeper into the album. "Shades of Time" is as strong as anything on the Chicago debut and stronger than anything on The Doors albums. "Savor" and "Jin-go-lo-ba" jam, the latter a Latin rock masterpiece. "Pursuasion" shows off the band and singer's Blood, Sweat & Tears side. "Treat" gives a nod to older jazz and Latin forms and artists. "You Just Don't Care" gives more of a nod to the white side of the blues-rock scene (think Yardbirds & John Mayall) and the album's finale, "Soul Sacrifice," with its earworm melodies and call-and-response play between the guitar and organ--as well as between the percussionists--remains one of the most iconic Jazz-rock songs of all-time--largely in part to its presence in the Woodstock movie and reputation as a highlight at the 1969 "Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music" otherwise known as the Woodstock Music Festival. There you have it: the complete set list for one awesome debut album. Is it perfect? No--not nearly. Is it mind-blowing and breath-taking? Some would argue, Yes. In terms of a prog rock, I'd call it a bridge, a harbinger of things to come.
BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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