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Santana - Santana CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.13 | 409 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Pre 70s prog, and how amazing!

Santana in Mexico is synonym of one of our most representative musicians, though he has lived almost his entired life in the US, his music was created in the US, Mexican people feel proud of having a Carlos Santana.

When i was like a 10-year kid i first listened to this album, as you can imagine it was my introduction to Santana's music, at that time i was not a real fan of music but anyways i found it quite enjoyable, then some years later i re-listened to it and really loved it. So this was actually (i had not realized about it) one of my first introductions to progressive rock music, with a latin and jazz oriented style, but anyway when we listen to this album we cannot argue about it being prog, i say this because i remember this was one of the endless controversials and nowadays non- stop additions to this site.

Santana's first and self titled album was released back in 1969 the same year when the progressive rock era according to a lot of people was born, with Crimson's debut. This album features 9 songs, in the remaster edition it has 3 extra songs which are live songs, the original one has a lenght of 35+ minutes, which may be short but when it's filled with great music, we can repeat it several times and enjoying it equally.

It opens with Waiting, an instrumental song which since the very first moments shows us a noticeable latin and jazzy style with those percussion instruments, very characteristic from Santana`s music. Evil Ways is one of my favourite Santana's song, first of all because it was the first one that really caught my attention when i was a kid, it's lyrics were the first ones my mind kept, and it's a well known song, as i said it's the first song of the album with lyrics, it has a beautiful mood and mid tempo style which at the end turns faster with the addition of a powerful Santana solo.

Next song is Shades of Time, which in some ways is alike to the previous one, it's jamming points, it's keyboards and the great drumming along with the always predominat guitar, makes another excellent song here.

Savor actually is like the second part of Shades of Time, it immediately continues from one song to other, but this one starts with a powerful percussion sound which then is accompanied with amazing keyboards making a psychedelic-latin style, a lot of energy here, an extra point in Santana's music.

Jingo is another representative song, the percussion at the beginning are very recognizable, then the keys enter little by little in order to open the door to the guitars, some seconds later the vocals appear with but the outstanding percussion never dissapears, which is something that Santana`s music has always offered to us, this is a song i like a lot.

Persuasion is a song that for some reason always reminds me to Cream, it features vocals and a psychedelic feeling provoked by the keyboards, in my personal opinion, this is the less good song of the album, which doesn't mean it's not good, not at all.

Treat is the first song that shows a slower introduction based on a piano sound, but wait, after a minute or so it seems like the energy will start up again, and yes it is some keyboards, nice bass lines and the other instruments make it more intense, this is another instrumental song and let me tell you that a thing i like a lot about Santana's albums is the combination of songs with and without vocals. At the second part of the song it returns again to the slow tempo song that was at the beginning.

You Just Don't Care starts instrumentally with a pure psychedelic sound, you know that guitars and those keyboars, but suddenly the vocals appear with a kind of bluesy style, this is a fabolous song which if you want to label, would fit perfectly as a proto prog song, great heavy Santana side of music.

And last but not least, the amazind Soul Sacrifice which is also the longest track of the album, and another top notch moment of the band's career. Like i said in Jingo, this starts with a recongizable percussion sound, Chepito was unique believe me, his playing is a main role on this music, i believe this song along with some others, defines what Santana's music really is and why Santana is a unique band, nowadays we know Carlos has been involved in some commercial acts, but that's another point. Soul Sacrifice is an incredible ending for an amazing album, which is a must having for any rock fan, not really for a prog rock fan but without a doubt quite recommendable.

My final grade will be 4 stars, you fans of prog rock, will be please with this kind of afro latin psychedelic jazzy etc Santanesque style of music, and i shouldn't say this, but the youngs who think that The Mars Volta are original and unique, please listen to Santana and see that this is just an slice of TMV influences . Excellent addition to any prog fan, highly recommendable!!!

memowakeman | 4/5 |


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