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Santana - Lotus CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.84 | 113 ratings

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4 stars "Lotus" is the first live album release by US Jazz rock/fusion act Santana. The album was recorded on the 3rd and 4th of July 1973 in Osaka, Japan and released through Colombia records in May 1974. The original vinyl version (which was meant to be a Japanese only release) is a trible vinyl while the most common CD version is a double disc release. There is a Japanese trible CD version available too which was released in 2006. The song selection comes from the albums "Abraxas (1970)", "Santana 3 (1971)", "Caravanserai (1972)" and "Welcome (1973)". There are also a couple of new tracks that hadnīt appeared on any of the earlier studio albums. The lineup consists of a mix of the members from the original Santana group and the members of the post-"Caravanserai (1972)" Santana lineup.

The music on the album is focused on the instrumental jazz rock/fusion songs from the bandīs discography while the already few vocal based tracks in the discography are even fewer on "Lotus". The most famous of the latter type "Black Magic Woman" is of course featured though. The musicianship is outstanding on the album. There is such an obvious joy about playing music which is contagious to say the least. The tracks from the excellent "Caravanserai (1972)" album are absolutely stunning in the live versions. A track like "Every Step of the Way" is simply smoking hot and about to catch fire, but the tracks from the other albums are excellent too. There is only one weak point about the album and thatīs the 9:58 minute long drum solo. I have never found drum solos or any solos without music playing underneath very interesting and this time is no exception. The drum solo is of course played with virtuosic skill but I still find it hard to appreciate because itīs so long. Guitarist Carlos Santana is given lots of spotlight and his floating organic guitar solo style graces most songs. The latin percussion is as prominant as ever in the music and the keyboards/organ playing by Tom Coster really brings a lot to the sound too.

The sound quality is excellent. Itīs one of those productions that draws you in and wonīt let go. Organic, live and well sounding.

"Lotus" is an excellent testament to the skills and playfulness of the 1973 Santana group. A shining example of jazz rock/fusion with a human face/touch and an organic and emotionally captivating sound. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved. Donīt miss out on this one if you enjoy the Santana studio albums from that time.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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