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CARLOS SANTANA

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Mexico


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Carlos Santana biography
In parallel to the group's career, Carlos has been releasing solo albums for projects he thought were out of the scope of his group and for collaborations with other artistes. Such collaboration have been with John McLaughlin, Alice Coltrane, Buddy Miles and his brother are stellar and progressive and always positive jazz-rock.

Truth is that the boundary between his group and his solo discographies is that clear, but to those who have a good knowledge of his music. And for the proghead this solo career is just as interesting as the group's discography. Fusion albums such as Love Devotion Surrender or Illuminations are highly regarded by jazz-rock fans and jazz buff fans alike.




Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Inalienable from the group's career.



Discography:
Live Carlos Santana and Buddy Miles - 72
Love, Devotion, Surrender - 73
Illuminations - 74
Oneness, Silver Dreams - Golden Reality - 79
Swing of Delight - 80
Havana Moon - 83
Blues for Salvador - 87
Brothers - 93

Carlos Santana official website

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CARLOS SANTANA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CARLOS SANTANA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.92 | 98 ratings
Love Devotion Surrender (with John McLaughlin)
1973
4.11 | 66 ratings
Illuminations (with Alice Coltrane)
1974
3.40 | 32 ratings
Oneness, Silver Dreams - Golden Reality
1979
3.47 | 33 ratings
The Swing of Delight
1980
2.27 | 32 ratings
Havana Moon
1983
3.26 | 31 ratings
Blues for Salvador
1987
3.43 | 28 ratings
Brothers
1994
3.94 | 12 ratings
Carlos Santana, Divine Light (reconstruction and remix by Bill Laswell)
2001

CARLOS SANTANA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.13 | 29 ratings
Carlos Santana And Buddy Miles! Live!
1972
4.04 | 5 ratings
John McLaughlin & Carlos Santana - A Live Supreme, Live at Chicago 1973
1974

CARLOS SANTANA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.09 | 4 ratings
Live At The 1988 Montreaux Jazz Festival with Wayne Shorter
2005

CARLOS SANTANA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Viva Santana! (The Santana Brothers)
2000
3.00 | 2 ratings
Original Album Classics (Illuminations...)
2010

CARLOS SANTANA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

CARLOS SANTANA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Love Devotion Surrender (with John McLaughlin) by SANTANA, CARLOS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.92 | 98 ratings

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Love Devotion Surrender (with John McLaughlin)
Carlos Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars By this point Carlos Santana was a disciple of Sri Chinmoy, a spiritual leader of rather dubious distinction (the back cover shows him with this grin on his face that makes him seem a bit shady). John McLaughlin introduced Satana to Chinmoy, so it's little surprise that they'd make an album together, with the help of many Mahavishnu Orchestra members, including Jan Hammer and Billy Cobham, with other musicians like Larry Young (sounding a bit like Gregg Rolie), Doug Rauch (bassist for Santana around the same time period) , and others. Jan Hammer only plays drums here (he's fully capable of drums, just listen to Like Children, his 1974 collaboration with Jerry Goodman to prove he's as comfortable with drums as with keyboards).

You know this isn't your typical hitmaking Santana album. It's often closer to Mahavishnu Orchestra than it is to Santana, but you'll still find Latin rhythms. The first two songs are John Coltrane songs, the first being "A Love Supreme", actually it should have been entitled "Acknowledgement", since it's the first song off A Love Surpreme. The original is piano and sax, and there is a vocal passage that repeats "A love supreme" over and over. This version, obviously is done in '70s fusion stlyle, with electric guitars and a more rock approach. The vocal passage is intact. "Naimi" is the second Coltrane song, the original appearing on his 1959 album Giant Steps. This version is modernized, but still calm and relaxed. "The Life Divine" is insanely intense and it really blew me away. There's also a repeating vocal line and I really dig Larry Young's organ playing, sounds like a spacier version of Gregg Rolie. "Let us Go into the House of the Lord" is a church song, so I often wondered what a Christian song is doing on an album done by two disciples of Sri Chinmoy. Probably due to the spiritual nature. This version, though, is all-instrumental, and honestly it sounds like an instrumental Santana song, has that similar Santana vibe going on, including Latin rhythms. "Meditation" is a short, calm piece, which makes sense, to close the album.

I remembered Rolling Stone panning this album. If memory serves, this was given a one star rating on the Rolling Stone Record Guide in the 1979 edition. I can understand where they may come from, though, because it might have seemed to their ears nothing more than a guitar wankfest, wishing for something on the line of the first three Santana albums, or more ensemble playing like from Mahavishnu Orchestra. And sure, I wouldn't recommend Love, Devotion, Surrender to those who dislike the more technical side of musicianship, but to me the power and mindblowing intensity really makes this album great. Billy Cobham proves, once again, to be a fusion powerhouse (although he shares drum duties also with Jan Hammer and Don Alias). I may not recommend this album to everyone, but I enjoy it, and it's really up to you to decide.

 Love Devotion Surrender (with John McLaughlin) by SANTANA, CARLOS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.92 | 98 ratings

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Love Devotion Surrender (with John McLaughlin)
Carlos Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars LOVE DEVOTION SURRENDER is a collaboration of two of the greatest guitarists of the early 70s namely CARLOS SANTANA and JOHN McLAUGHLIN. This is one of those spiritual albums that was inspired by their religious guru Sri Chinmoy, whom both men studied under. The album was also supposed to be a tribute to John Coltrane which has reworkings of two of Coltrane's compositions. This era also marks the period where both guitarists were undergoing profound changes in their musical realties. SANTANA was struggling to find a way to move his music which took a good start with his own "Caravanserai" and McLAUGHLIN was on the verge of the Mahavishnu Orchestra imploding.

I have heard about this album for a while and it has always intrigued me because it sounds like it should be one of the most anticipated collaborations in musical history, but after trying to get into this album there are a few things that are going on here, or not going on as the case may be. I feel this album lacks is a true musical direction. The tributes to Coltrane are interesting and they, to my ears, the most interesting pieces on this album, but the rest of the tracks sound more like a battle for dominance than a true merging of talents. Tracks either sound like a Caravanserai era SANTANA song with McLAUGHLIN frenetically going off over it or some kind of jazz-fusion piece that McLAUGHLIN came up with verging on the over sentimental. Point blank, there is NOTHING on this album that even comes close to what these two had done with their bands in the previous years. Still though, it is a pleasant enough listen despite being a disappointment but hardly an album you should sell your kidneys over.

 Love Devotion Surrender (with John McLaughlin) by SANTANA, CARLOS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.92 | 98 ratings

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Love Devotion Surrender (with John McLaughlin)
Carlos Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A first time studio collaboration between two "enlightened" and virtuous guitar players, playing a cheerful and full of a "show of hands" rendition of John Coltrane's 1964, own kind of prayer , which went by the name of "A Love Supreme".

The best part, besides the obvious intention of the concept, is precisely the "clash" of styles, the "original" composition diversifies into. Somehow the album launches from there to a variety of songs, that some are independent of Coltrane's composition and highlight themselves because of the same. These songs in turn, make this work, sound richer in musical ideas and approaches.

A well balanced combination between Santana's "latin" flavor blended with the "all converted" Indo/Raga/Jazz of McLaughlin's "transformed" guitar and his approach of playing. Both musicians respect each other, but the "concept" and orientation of the music they emulate (religious like), has as a performing requirement, to be played with the innermost "JOY" you are able to achieve.

So, expect a show of hands, a blend of styles, a focused concept and goal, that although it could be tendentious by them or pre-judiced by new listeners, it is neither exclusive nor pretentious. In fact the Jazz tagging helps, considering, it contains a fair amount of impro like heartfelt, energetic performances by every member of the ensemble (lots of percussions).

I might even think, John Coltrane will happily approve on, these guitarist's rendition of his famous recording. ....I myself still hold it in my music collection. ****4 PA stars.

 Illuminations (with Alice Coltrane) by SANTANA, CARLOS album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.11 | 66 ratings

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Illuminations (with Alice Coltrane)
Carlos Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars A really singular and holy recording from Carlos Santana, who sadly in my opinion has got his fame from commercial productions too often left on levels of secular Latin partying, in spite of the spiritual devotion of the maestro himself - I agree though that the world would be sadder place without secular Latin partying. Maybe the contrast to his radio hits also makes his spiritual recordings shine ever more brightly. This symphonic celestial revelation, conjured with Alice Coltrane and other ace musicians like Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette, really reaches the heights only by angel's wings one can venture. Album mingles together the jazz impressionism, Santana's unique psychedelic guitar tones and harmonies from both European and Indian classical music elements, forming an unique apparition of beauty.

The voyage begins from the meditative aphorism of Carlos' Guru "Love is God's life-bless within us". The chant and this recitation directs the orientation towards religious mystic experiences, being embodied first by two visions of angels, one for air and another of water. Alice's string arrangements, Dave's firm and soft bass lines with ethereal waves from the cymbal plates allow the angels speak trough Santana's fingers upon his guitar's frets. I felt special enjoyment from the ethereal background of this movement for Carlos to play, instead of the strong rhythm presence I often have found dominating his major albums. The harp motive from Alice possibly changes the seraph of airs to the one from waters, cinematopic symphony layers strengthening her blissful characteristics. Saxophone of Jules Broussard is also allowed to have quite much space, and the composition waves calmly from celestial peaks to peaceful moments of all-devouring god's love. The portraits of these elementary heralds lead to the bliss of infinity being realized from the current moment, everlasting in the history from now on. This powerfully orchestrated ethereal sequence swirls with vastness of ecstatic confrontation of universal eternity. The divine movement holds only quite light emphasis for the guitar, allowing much space for piano, harp and symphonic orchestra's string powerful dramatics. The third angel holds the element of sunlight, conjured from oriental circling themes and grandiose yearning of amplified solo guitar call, being answered from Indian drums and bow-played upright bass prayers. The sonic carpet rich with mythical details is revealed after few minutes for more concrete melodic solo passages for guitar, saxophone and keyboards, powered by Jack's identifiable drum turmoil and solidly flowing jazz bass foundation. A really shimmering quart of an hour, the merging of solo instruments leading to the culmination peak opening the gates for the spiritual target of the voyage; Illuminations on sublime piano and string borne symbol of religious hope are decorated with gentle symbols of Carlos and Alice's tonal art.

Though slightly naïve and syrupy like religious and mystic encounters might be, the yearning for happiness and infinity is evidently transmitted from the harmonic yearnings of the closing tune. I like very much Carlos' earlier work with McLaughlin on their "Love Devotion Surrender", but however I adore the charms of this religious record even more, maybe due the presence of sacred feminine mystics uniting with power of masculine potential, these contrasting powers allowing more harmonic potentials being realized on this unique album.

 Love Devotion Surrender (with John McLaughlin) by SANTANA, CARLOS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.92 | 98 ratings

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Love Devotion Surrender (with John McLaughlin)
Carlos Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Welcome to a guitar lover's paradise !! SANTANA meets MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA. These two lead guitar virtuosos, Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin, put together this tremendous album in respect to John Coltrane and their very own religious beliefs. Along for the ride are some members from their respective bands, Billy Cobham, Don Alias and Jan Hammer (all on the drums !!), Larry Young (organ) Armando Peraza and James (Mingo) Lewis (perc.) and Doug Rauch (bass). The album features 3 blistering extended jams - Coltrane's 'A Love Supreme', McLaughlin's 'The Life Divine' and a traditional piece 'Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord', as well as 2 shorter acoustic pieces - another Coltrane piece with 'Naima', and McLaughlin's 'Meditation'. One thing I admire is how these talented musicians have transcribed traditional Jazz works into rocking balls of fire. Vocals are sparsely used, mainly repetitive chanting, but subtle. The double whammy of the guitarists, with their own distinctive sound and stylings, shine brightly throughout, but it's the effervescent rhythm work that lays the precisely textured groundwork which allows the dynamic duo to trade licks in a most carefree, and dare I say it, indulgent, fashion that doesn't outstay its welcome. They must've had a truly spiritual experience doing this recording. Young's tastefully tonal Hammond work adds a beautiful dimension to all this, resulting in an album that's always a pleasure to return to. Highly recommended.
 Love Devotion Surrender (with John McLaughlin) by SANTANA, CARLOS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.92 | 98 ratings

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Love Devotion Surrender (with John McLaughlin)
Carlos Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The combination of Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin, together with members of both men's respective bands, producing an album revisiting the music of John Coltrane proves to be less than the sum of its parts. The fusion treatment of Coltrane's works is interesting, but can hardly stand up to Coltrane's original performances - I personally find that, perhaps because they were composed long before the fusion revolution, the songs fit much better in an older tradition of experimental jazz and don't translate well to a fusion treatment. As for the original pieces, you're left with the impression that both men were keeping the best material back for their day jobs. An interesting collaboration, but not an essential one.
 Brothers by SANTANA, CARLOS album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.43 | 28 ratings

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Brothers
Carlos Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars I like this album much more than most of Carlos Santana's later material. It actually features guitar excellence over cheesy pop songs, where Santana can excel. And he shares the spotlight with his brother Jorge, and Nephew Carlos Hernandez.

The album starts with a fiery guitar intro by all three family members, a good omen for this set. The album then settles in to a mixture of latin rock, reggae, and fusion style rock tunes. The compositions are very loose. It seems that they were more interested in coming up with riffs that they could solo over, rather than much orchestrated instrumentation. That's not a bad thing. The three all play with a similar rich style, that makes this set work.

 Brothers by SANTANA, CARLOS album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.43 | 28 ratings

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Brothers
Carlos Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Quite rare Carlos Santana solo album (first in 7 yrs after "Blues For Salvador"). OK, not purely solo release - with "Brothers" (guitarists Jorge Santana and Carlos Hernandez). But anyway, more solo release than Santana's band album.

The album opens with serious guitar fusion composition "Transmutation/ Industrial" and for a moment new listener can expect experimental jazz fusion album in a manner of his duets with McLaughlin or Alice Coltrane. No, it was opener only - but what a pleasant moment!

Starting from album's second composition everything returns to its places: Latin rock and Latin fusion supported by three guitarists. Sound is almost minimalistic - drums and percussion on some songs (Carlos plays percussion himself as well) and bassist Myron Dove on opener. But I think it is a good decision - great Latin guitar sound without over-production sounds better in 90-s than wall of sound for sure.

All melodies are catchy,soulful and you will easily recognize Carlos electric guitar on every song. OK, even if some moments will remind you Santana's early Latin blues rock, you will always feel that this album comes not from early 70-s: sound is more mellow and polished.

Album is full-instrumental (what is more plus than minus for Santana's works from 90-s). For sure, this is three guitarist albums, then don't expect complex sound of different instruments. Latin soulful melodies and Carlos guitar sound are both more important there than musicianship virtuosity.

Somewhere in the middle of the album you will possibly realize that songs all are melodic and soulful, but a bit ... similar to each other. Yes, Santana for years use similar tricks and melodies, and starting from late 70-s you will hardly find his album with concentrated musical material. More often there are one-two great songs, and all other professional material to fill the space.

This album is not much different, but the difference is filling material there is of better quality than usual. At the end of listening you will hardly remember any separate song, but all them will sound similar - and nice.

Last album's song "Morning In Marin " is a bit different again - aerial down tempo composition, but farf from excellent. I think nine energetic melodic soulful Latin rock/fusion compositions in line (between album's opener and the last song) are too much, and to add two three compositions of different speed,rhythm and sound in between would be a big advantage. But - we have what we have: best Santana's album from 90-s, and pleasant listening especially for Latin rock/fusion music fans.

 Carlos Santana And Buddy Miles! Live! by SANTANA, CARLOS album cover Live, 1972
3.13 | 29 ratings

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Carlos Santana And Buddy Miles! Live!
Carlos Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This album quite often is criticized by Santana band's fans. I can understand why, but cant agree in full. First of all, it is first Santana's live album, and first his solo album as well. Then, it is not band's work, but his solo one (ok, more duet with Buddy Miles).

Album was recorded during one concert in Honolulu and never changed too much in studio. So, you have raw and true ,almost documental early live Santana's music sound. Unhappily, recording sound quality isn't good enough.

Music itself is a bit different from Santana band's music, and ,even using some Santana's songs and many elements of his style, in fact are something as Hendrix Band Of Gypsies play with Santana on guitar instead of Jimmi.

Result is long, slightly psychedelic compositions with BOG drummer on vocals. More r'n'b and funky, than Latin rock based. All B -side is one long funky jam. All musicians play very inspired, even if music isn't too complex.

Possibly music there is too different from early Santana Band's albums, but it is really very interesting for fans of jamming, Santana's more jazzy-funky side.

 Illuminations (with Alice Coltrane) by SANTANA, CARLOS album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.11 | 66 ratings

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Illuminations (with Alice Coltrane)
Carlos Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Beside Santana band"s great success in early 70-s, band's leader Carlos Santana released series of solo duets. He started with not very successful live recorded album with Buddy Miles, then released excellent duet with John McLaughlin. This album is third and last in this series.

This time Santana plays with Coltrane 's widow Alice, strong string musician and arranger on her own right. Music is very different from usual Santana band's and solo recordings, and is highly influenced by free-jazz and Indian music. As a result, this recording is possibly most difficult and less accessible album in all Santana career. But there you can hear Carlos can play!

In fact this album received disappointing critics and fans reaction from time of release. Millions of fans waited melodic Latin rock or Santana's guitar driven hot jazz-rock. But music there is very different. Meditative, with strong oriental scent, free-form, it was never accepted by wide listener. But it's a big mistake, because only hear every listener has a rare possibility to hear Santana playing excellent, but very different guitar music. Complex structures and absolutely different guitar sound give great possibility to hear Carlos as real jazz fusion musician.

This instrumental album generally has nothing in common with nice but stereotype Carlos guitar sound signature. If you're searching for one more "classic" Santana's guitar solo, just chose his any other album. But this one is for those interested in delightful and very different great guitarist sound and searching for Santana's most serious musical work till now.

Very recommended for everyone who is not sure if Santana is great JAZZ-ROCK musician.

Thanks to Sean Trane for the artist addition. and to easy livin for the last updates

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