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Carlos Santana - Carlos Santana & John McLaughlin: Love Devotion Surrender CD (album) cover


Carlos Santana


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.92 | 125 ratings

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3 stars Let's just say that you really have to be in the right mood for this one. Sometimes this may sound like endless jamming and chanting. Other times it may actually feel like two talented guitarists (and of course talented backing musicians!) pulling from some greater consciousness to piece together mind-blowing music. My take is that this is a case of two successful musicians with few restrictions placed on them who probably believe they have made a greater achievement than they actually have. On the other hand, I admit that I have not studied jazz thoroughly and am not in a position to "get" this music as much as others.

A Love Supreme. A dual guitar onslaught provides hope, and a good groove leads to plenty of fast guitar runs and wails. However, this dies down into a long section of chanting and die-down. Some nice playing, but repetitive and too lengthy.

Naima, Meditation. Two mellow tunes, featuring a duet between Carlos and Mahavishnu John and back-and-forth between the two over piano, respectively. They definitely have an Eastern feel, but to my ears are quite simple and uninspired.

The Life Divine. Similar to Love Supreme in that a lively opener morphs into repetitive riffing, though overall more upbeat, with more interesting percussion and bass. The vocal chanting again becomes a bit boring quickly.

Let Us Go into the House of the Lord. More of the same...the percussion is practically begging for some more creativity from Carlos and Mahavishnu John to keep up. Maybe it's a personal thing, but fifteen minutes of the same chords and guitar improv is simply too much.

Overall, nothing especially impressive. Nothing wrong with jamming and experimenting, but I need more structure. Carlos is not especially versatile, and catchy songs tend to cover this fact, though he is quite exposed here (and the same applies to Mahavishnu John in my opinion, though I'm admittedly less familiar with his corpus of work). Good for parties, chilling out, or cooking, but not when you really want to focus on the music.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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