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Carlos Santana - Illuminations (with Alice Coltrane) CD (album) cover

ILLUMINATIONS (WITH ALICE COLTRANE)

Carlos Santana

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.16 | 57 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
5 stars After having blown us away with the supern Caravanserai and its sister album Borboletta and confirmed with his second solo album (the McLaughlin collab LDS) Carlos confirms that his love for John Coltrane is simply over-powering. This time he pulls another blistering album with Coltrane's widow Alice (who was having her own brilliant career after her huisband's death) who specialized in writibng string arrangements and playing the harp). The album also boasts jazz giants dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette as well as the usual Santana-sidemates of Coster and Peraza.

Again, the album is drooling of Sri Chinmoy's spirituality, but as in LDS, it hardly hinders (and most likely enhances) the album's superb music. After a forgettable intro, the album peaks directly into a superb 11-min+ Angel Of Air, which develops paradisiaque ambiances not un-similar to Caravanserai and will drive you straight to orgasm if you can dig Alice's harpand strings. Another superb highlight is the awesome Alice Coltrane-penned Eternal Now. Angel Of Sunlight is a whopping 15-min monster track boasting some great tabla drum works but the lengthy instrumental interplay between Carlos' guitar and Broussard's sax must be one of the best example of perfect jazz-rock soloing. The album closes on another string and harp laden title track.

If the album might appear to drowned out in heavy and over-powering (but neverv really cheesy) string arangements, these are more subtle than many other strings that the proghead is used to and I aim particularly at Tull's David Palmer. What we have here is yet another pearl of Carlos' almost impeccable career so far, the two exceptions being Welcome and the Live cxollab with Buddy Miles. This was really a tough decision whether to award it its fifth star or not, though.

Sean Trane | 5/5 |

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