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Carlos Santana - Carlos Santana & John McLaughlin: Love Devotion Surrender CD (album) cover


Carlos Santana


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.97 | 143 ratings

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5 stars As a member of the Columbia Record Club, I received this album in the mail as the label's "Record of the Month." I'd heard Santana's hits--even the long versions on our local album-oriented FM station, WABX, and I was already a big fan of Latin rhythms due to my dad's obsession with Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass and Sergio Mendes & Brazil '66--which he blasted on his stereo quite often in the late 60s. But I was not, by any means, prepared for what Love Devotion Surrender unleashed. Even when I saw McLaughlin and his double neck guitar with Mahavishnu Orchestra doing things that I didn't understand on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert later in the year I couldn't comprehend what I was seeing. I think this is why this album didn't quite click with me for a while. I listened to it--a lot (I didn't own many albums at this time--though I had a pretty hot Soul/R&B 45 collection) and always thought that I was listening to two guitarists of two different levels of competency. I didn't know Coltrane or his works, had only begun to know some jazz and fusion but loved guitarists (Jeff Beck mostly), so I stuck with it.

After the 70s the album pretty much fell off my radar. Until a few years ago I don't think I'd heard it for over 30 years. Now I listen to it with a sense of awe and wonder. I feel so fortunate that we have this testament to the genius and inspiration of all of these masters in their peak years of adventurosity. Larry Young. Dougie Rauch. (Both taken from us far too soon--and both among my very favorite 1970s instrumentalists.) Billy Cobham. Don Alias. Michael Shrieve. Mingo Lewis. Jan Hammer.

The album (and my worship for John McLaughlin) even prompted my visit to Sri Chimnoy's vegan restaurant in Haight Ashbury the first time I ever visited SF.

Now I find myself listening to it multiple times per month. It is, to my mind, to my heart, one of the peak achievements in jazz-rock fusion collaborations. Yes, I wish I had more control of the sound mix (I want so badly to listen to JUST Dougie Rauch and JUST Larry Young and JUST Billy C.) but I'm just so fortunate to have it all that I won't complain.

I love the beautiful two acoustic pieces--especially John's "Meditation" and "Let Us Go Into The House of The Lord" may just be my favorite jazz-fusion jam of all-time. And give me those Santana conga and bass lines all day long! I feed off of them!

I have absolutely no reservations about proclaiming this album, flawed as it may be, a masterpiece of progressive rock music and a pinnacle and landmark of the jazz-rock fusion "movement."

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |


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