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Santana - Borboletta CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.68 | 183 ratings

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3 stars Borboletta is arguably the last great Latin tinged fusion album by Santana, as hereafter they tended to a more accessible sound. Spring Manifestations and the title track bookend the album and create a warm, spiritual atmosphere featuring percussion and sound effects. The remainder of the album is equally divided between songs and instrumentals, with the 8 minute long Promise Of A Fisherman being the undoubted standout. This track begins with a lovely soulful melody that leads to a lengthy central section with scorching guitar and swirling Hammond organ, before returning to the original melody.

The instrumental Canto De Los Flores features a laid-back jazzy groove with chiming electric piano and percussion prominent. Life Is Anew is an upbeat song with the Fender- Rhodes to the fore once again. A short organ solo heralds the first appearance of Carlos on the album with a searing guitar solo. He seems to take a back seat much of the time which allows the other musicians to create and develop their own moods. Give And Take is a funky synth-led song featuring Carlos on vocals. This is one of the longest tracks on the recording at 5.44, and contains some raw guitar licks, dynamic percussion and sax. Track 5, One With The Sun, is a smooth mid-tempo song with a middle section where searing guitar and Hammond take solos in turn. Aspirations is a jazz-spirited piece with percussion and atonal sax that creates a spacey atmosphere.

Practice What You Preach begins sparsely with just guitar and sustained Hammond until the percussionists speed up the tempo into the main song... nice. The smooth relaxed groove of Mirage features synth, electric piano, organ and another searing guitar solo. Track 9, Here And Now, is a free form piece with prominent sax and phasing effects. it is also the weakest track here, in my opinion. Flor De Canela has a quick tempo and features yet more shredding guitar, Hammond and Fender-Rhodes. This song leads into the aforementioned Promise Of A Fisherman.

Borboletta is a warm, pleasant album. The mood is enhanced by the fact that the tracks segue into one another, a technique I always find pleasing. There are many great guitar solos, but Carlos does not dominate the sound. There are swathes of superb keyboards and percussion, as well as some sax. Overall, this is a good album that just falls short of the classics Abraxas and Caravanserai.

seventhsojourn | 3/5 |


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