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Santana - Santana CD (album) cover

SANTANA

Santana

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.10 | 242 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Australian
Prog Reviewer
4 stars "Santana" is perhaps the first in a series of groundbreaking and defining Latin-rock albums from Carlos Santana. I guess what makes this album particularly interesting is the fact that it is a purely free-form album combining many genres of music. The album is mainly instrumental, and while it isn't Santana's Opus when it comes to prog it is still a damn great album! The band already had a head start with its three year history leading up to the release of this album most notably the performance at the Woodstock Festival in August of the previous month. Still that said for a debut album this is quite fantastic.

The album opens with the up-tempo instrumental jam "Waiting" which kicks-off quietly with the ringing of bongos and bass. The instruments are built upon by further percussion and finally the by the lead of an electric organ. The song has a very definable and definite beat which is overlaid by electric organ and guitar.

The all-famous "Evil Ways" is next, this song was perhaps the first impressionable Santana song on the music scene becoming a top 10 hit in the US (no.9). It is another very easily identifiable tune and features some great instrumental jams. Watch out for the guitar solo at the end. I guarantee this will have you grooving in no time at all!

"Shades of Time" is another song with vocals, though there are still the good old instrumental jam sections and guitar solos. There is one particularly good guitar solo which begins around the 1:30 minute mark. The Latin-style percussion is at a high-point here with the three percussionists doing a fantastic job.

"Savor" follows on directly from "Shades of Time" and it features some very strong percussion from the band which is soon joined by the organ and guitar. This is three minutes of amazing instrumentalism which is really made all the more impressive by the fact that the band was able to create something so tight on their first album.

"Jingo" is the first song to have vocals in Spanish (god I hope its Spanish.) The song begins gradually with the traditional layering taking place. The song really is made very impressive by Carlo's guitar which seems to just dominate the piece. The melody is very decisive. After a while you understand what I mean by that.

"Persuasion" is next. The song sounds a bit disjoined although it still maintains all the same characterizes as mentioned before. The most notable feature of the song is that it seems to end before it begins.

"Treat" is as its name suggests. It's a change from the rest of the album as it opens with a soft-ish piano melody as opposed to aggressive percussion! It doesn't last long though, about a minute before the rest of the band comes in. "Treat" is really make special by that fact that it includes one really great guitar solo from Carols which is backed by that die-hard percussion and piano. The song ends the way it began, quietly. All round great instrumental.

"You Just Don't Care" is a sinister song, as far as the rest of the album goes. It is aggressive and feature some traces of psychedelic rock too, as does the rest of the album. It's the "heaviest" song also with some guitar work leaning towards the louder side.

Last of all is the six minute instrumental which really defines the album for me, it allows for an extended insight into the percussive of the band as well as, the guitar. The backing dissipates for a while to allow for a bongo solo, which is the best type of solo. I stand by saying this is the defining song of the album, great stuff.

Waiting (4/5) Evil Ways (4/5) Shades of Time (4/5) Savor (3/5) Jingo (4/5) Persuasion (3/5) Treat (5/5) You Just Don't Care (4/5) Soul Sacrifice (5/5) Total = 36 divided by 9 = 4 = 4 stars Excellent addition to any prog music collection

In summary, this one great album and although it may not be of the same grade of identifiable progressive rock acts from the same time, it is still very good. I'd recommend this album to anyone, basically. I guess Frank Zappa fans may find it interesting.

Australian | 4/5 |

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