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Santana - Caravanserai CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.23 | 709 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I still don't know what kept me away from Santana for so long as listening to CARAVANSERAI made me think, ''Why didn't I pounce sooner?''. Santana's approach to the fusion genre (at least through here) offers more Latin music influence as well as a more laidback style. We're not boisterously hard rocking like on Chicago, it doesn't go at the speed of sound as Mahavishnu Orchestra does, and it isn't as jazz-textbook as Weather Report or Miles Davis. The tracks sound like they are interconnected with each other despite most of the album being instrumental. The tracks sound connected to each other as if the music is meant to take you on an adventure. Segues that start/finish songs sound like the rest stops and the songs themselves paint a picture of the surrounding environment if you choose to let them.

Sometimes, the laidback approach of tracks like ''All the Love of the Universe'' can stifle the flow of the album a bit, but there is something equally engaging to the point where you look down and realise the track is nearly over yet you felt it barely started. Songs like ''Waves Within'', ''Stone Flower'' and ''Look Up'' make you lose a sense of time rather convincingly. In keeping with some of the songs' mood, the singing is usually as laidback only achieving any power on ''Just in Time to See the Sun''. Auxiliary percussion is the secret weapon of the whole album as Santana use those pieces in abundance to the point where ''Future Primitive'' exclusively showcases them.

In true prog rock fashion, everyone is waiting for the nine minute endcoming, ''Every Step of the Way'', and there is good reason to. CARAVANSERAI really builds up to this track although the climbing is not constant. Let's just say that the beginning of the song sets the tension and gets the listen pumped about what might happen. Then that bliss comes when it finally explodes and everything before makes complete sense.

CARAVANSERAI is a highly cherishable journey in the jazz-prog world. If you're into prog rock and want a jazzier listening experience, find the room and time for CARAVANSERAI.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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