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Symphonic Team
3 stars Santana - Ultimate Santana - not really a compilation but new versions of old classics with a myriad of guest artists!

Carlos is the real star here and he is brilliant on guitar backed up by a whole slew of guest stars from Chad Kroeger to Tina Turner!

Not being a massive fan of Santana I can at least tell that this album is not really a great example of what this band is about. There is very little in prog available here. None of the lengthy jams and scorching drum and Hammond. Instead a very mainstream sound that you may hear on the radio. Santana are important in the prog subgenre as jazz fusion progenitors. However the diversity of this band is not evident on this comp and the sound is so up to date and not really progressive.

Having said that the music is still great quality and Carlos is a master on that guitar. Highlights include She's Not There, Black Magic Woman, Samba Pa Ti, Evil Ways, Alex Band of The Calling with Why Don't You & I, Steven Tyler singing Just Feel Better, Europa (Earth's Cry Eaven's Smile), Oye Como Va, and Tina Turner singing The Game Of Love. There is a notable change in direction for Santana during the 2000s, as most bands were subject to, but it is still very well executed music. Carlos' interplanetary guitar sings, soars and swoops majestically on every track, the drums pound and you have to love those bongo and tom tom metrical patterns, very Latin at times, and quite hypnotic.

In summary, this is not the place to start to get into Santana. Its too different in comparison to their other releases. Grab hold of Ultimate Collection for a great compilation package and I recommend Caravanserai for awesome prog!

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Posted Monday, October 19, 2009 | Review Permalink

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