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


Carlos Santana


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.92 | 126 ratings

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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Coltrane Devotion

Both, John and Carlos, were highly regarded guitarists from the time, highly praised for their unique fusion style each in their own band, they united forces to make a simply stunning 'guitar' album, with a great mood all along the album, with the mediative feel typical of John and Carlos. You can also count with other great musicians, like jazz organist, Larry Young, giving some incredible mysterious Hammond touches to the album, as well as the fierceful drummer, Billy Cobham. Also there's some percussion heading more to the Santana style of music, though it doesn't stand out as in Santana's music, though still giving a great touch to the album.

Not a typical Fusion album for sure, since the focus on the guitar is more than obvious, but most of 'Love Devotion Surrender' is very Mahavishnu-headed in terms of energy. While ELP were making Classical adaptions, McLaughlin and Santana did two Jazz adaptions, both from the master saxophonist, John Coltrane. The 'A Love Supreme' take is a ferocious opener, both guitarists binding their instruments to deliver a unique experience. 'Naima' is done acoustically, a nice and gentle rendition still retaining the aura of the rest of the album.

The duo's own composition are as strong as both covers, especially the very emotional, Santana-headed, 'Let's Go Into The House of the Lord'. 'The Life Divine' shows McLaughlin's first composition to feature the 'love' lyrics and vocals that would appear in the future Orchestra line-up.

Also, since the encounter of Santana with John, Santana from 1973 onwards slightly changed his guitar style, adding some very Mahavishnu-esque licks.

As a conclusion, I'll just say that 'Love Devotion Surrender' is simply a must-have for serious guitarists, and of course if you're a fan of either Santana or Mahavishnu, this is essential. There's 'Blow by Blow', Passion & Warfare', 'Surfing with the Alien' et al, and there's 'Love Devotion Surrender' which blows those albums away in terms of composition. Highly recommended.

The Quiet One | 4/5 |


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