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Santana - Abraxas CD (album) cover

ABRAXAS

Santana

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.23 | 351 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer
5 stars The year 1970 turned out to be the Santana year: the Woodstock movie was a huge commercial success and it showcased an inspired and exciting Santana performance, the single Evil Ways from their eponymous debut LP became a #10 hit in the USA (it sold more than 2 million copies) and the new, eagerly awaited album entitled Abraxas peaked the USA Billboard Album Top 100 chart.

For me Abraxas is the Santana band at their creative peak with an important role for conga/timbales player Jose Areas Chipito who taught the members how to phrase in latin music (like cha-cha and merengue). Most of the nine original songs on this album sound swinging and exciting, driven by the 'Holy Latin Rock Trinity': Santana his flowing and emotional guitarwork, Rolie his powerful Hammond organ and the propulsive percussion by Areas (conga/timbales) and Carabello (conga). The best examples are the tracks Oye Como Va (pleasant dance song with great work on guitar and organ), Incident At Neshabur (many varied atmospheres featuring a swirling Hammond solo, senstive guitar play and a jazzy piano solo) and in El Nicoya the focus is on the percussion, how exciting! In the song Hope Your're Feeling Better we can enjoy the distinctive, a bit raw vocals by Gregg Rolie, heavy Hammond waves and Jimi Hendrix inspired wah-wah guitar by Santana. But my two highlights remain the most known songs Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen (excellent break and wonderful guitar work with sustain and tremolo) and of course Samba Pa Ti that sounds like 'latin-bluesrock' with lush Hammond waves and beautiful build-up guitar play, very moving! My 'limited edition digipak' CD version delivers a FOC with 3 live bonustracks entitled Se A Cabo, Toussaint L'Overture and Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen (all with a special 'on stage' flavor) and a 12-page booklet with interesting liner notes and photos.

AN ESSENTIAL MASTERPIECE IN PROGRESSIVE ROCK HISTORY!!

erik neuteboom | 5/5 |

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