Friday Favorites 11/1/2013

santana 1I love music with a Latin beat.  The guitar is my favorite musical instrument.  And the seventies are my favorite decade for rock music.   So, of course, Santana is a favorite … both the band and the man, Carlos Augusto Alves Santana.  Back in the days of vinyl records, I remember buying the first album, Santana, with the iconic lion cover after hearing Evil Ways on the radio.  While many LPs had only a few songs I really liked, I never put on Santana unless Iabraxas could listen through at least one side.  A year later, I bought Abraxas with its even more iconic (can something be more iconic?) goddess cover.  Abraxas was a masterpiece, bringing more jazz influences to the Latin-based rock of the first album and featured several instrumentals. Muri and I saw the band in 1970 in Providence, R.I. and they were just as good in person as they were in the studio.  Black magic Woman/Gypsy Queen, a vocal number followed by powerful instrumental coda is one of my favorite tracks ever, here performed live in Santiago in 1992.

The band was originally formed as the Carlos Santana Blues Band in 1967 featuring  Carlos Santana (lead guitar), Marcus Malone (percussion), Rod Harper (drums), David Brown (bass guitar) and Gregg Rolie (lead vocals, Hammond Organ B3).  While the music was built around the compositions and guitar work of Carlos Santana, Greg Rolie’s distinctive organ playing an lead vocals were also featured on the first three albums.  A promoter told Carlos Santana that a Latin-based band was unlikely to make it in San Francisco, but the enthusiastic reception by the crowd at Woodstock set the stage for the release of their first album a month later.  Over the years, the band has seen many transitions in personnel and style which reflected Carlos Santana’s interest in spirituality and jazz fusion.   During periodic ventures into experimental and avante garde music, the band’s commercial success would fade, but for the most part the response from critics was positive.  Under pressure from promoters, Santana would release material closer to their roots … or perform at benefit venues … and bring themselves back into the public eye.   In the late nineties, the band again reached the charts, which allowed Carlos to pursue his own interests in a solo career, playing with jazz icons or vocalists.  According to Wikipedia, the band has earned eight Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards, the latter all in 2000. Carlos also won Grammy Awards as a solo artist in 1989 and 2003. Santana has sold more than 90 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling groups of all time.  The band was inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame in 1998.  In the last few years, Carlos Santana has also accompanied a number of well-known vocal artists like Michelle Branch, Alicia Keys and, believe it or not, Faith Hill.

Here are a two of my favorite instrumentals, Bella and Europa, both with beautiful videos.

Then there this surprise, a live performance with Faith Hill singing Breathe.  Isn’t it fun to see one artist awed by another?

Gorgeous.  Have a great weekend.

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3 Comments on “Friday Favorites 11/1/2013”

  1. Coming East Says:

    Bud, you are always so passionate when you talk about music, and I love that, especially coming from an engineer! Really enjoyed the video with Faith Hill.

  2. territerri Says:

    Faith Hill is one of my favorites. And over the past ten years or so, I’ve had a growing awareness and appreciation of Santana. Watching and listening to that last video, I found I had chills. Beautiful.

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