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Santana - Lotus CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.84 | 113 ratings

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2 stars With Santana at the peak of its mid-70s jazz-fusion direction, Lotus has to go down as an opportunity missed. First, the mixing of the album is terrible - it's as if the sound engineer decided that it was Carlos' show and the guitar would be the loudest instrument whatever else was going on. There are sections when Tom Coster is in inspired form on the electric piano but you can barely hear it owing to the over-loud guitar riffs. It's a similar story with the percussion, which needs to be up from on any Santana album. I would love to get my hands on the original source and remix this one. Second, performance wise, it's a mixed bag. With so much material, there is of course some good material played well: Incident at Neshabur is perhaps the highlight, although the version of Toussaint L'Overture isn't half bad (despite the need to dial the guitar back a notch). Other parts, however, sound laboured. Leon Thomas is barely used as a vocalist, which is a shame given some of the outwardly scat-singing he was capable with when performing as part of Pharoah Sanders' band - you just catch a bit of it on the penultimate track, Mr. Udo. Much of the interesting material from Caravanserai is left unused or - as in the case of Stone Flower - only partially performed. I can't help but wonder if the band never really mastered that material in its live format? So, all in all, disappointing given the possibilities that a post-Caravanserai live album could have delivered.
Kashgar | 2/5 |


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