Friday, April 15, 2016


SANTANA IV by Santana
(Santana IV Records)

Their back! The original revered lineup of classic rock icons Santana. Carlos Santana (guitar, vocals), Gregg Rolie (keyboards, lead vocals), Neal Schon (guitar, vocals), Michael Carabello (percussion) and Michael Shrieve (drums). The album also features current Santana members Karl Perazzo (percussion) and Benny Rietveld (bass), with the legendary vocalist Ronald Isley guesting on two tracks. I have to admit, there was a time I thought that the closest thing I'd hear this original Santana line up was with the 1997 debut release by Abraxas Pool. The band that featured "the band" minus Carlos Santana. 'Santana IV', is the Santana that we all know and love. The album signifies the first time since 1971's Santana III that this line up has recorded together. The album is a triumph of great mix of latin and pop music. It resurrects much of the original Latin rock sound without attempting to imitate the band's early sound. It sounds new, refreshing, & highly energized. The album opens with the tribal "Yambu", a smooth groove laden sound that opens the album perfectly. The upbeat, "Shake It" is up next proving that even after 45 years these gentlemen can jam their ass's off. The lead off track,  "Anywhere You Want To Go" has a cool laid back 70's groove. There is no mistaking the vocals of Greg Rolie, instantly recognizable and  Neal Schon's guitar playing is as always on point. The instrumental jam, "Filmore East" is, for me one of the album's highlights. For me Santana's  strength is when the just go for it and jam, and this track epitomizes that. Other highlights are; "Love Makes The World Go Round" and "Freedom In Your Mind", both tracks featuring, Ron Isley. The instrumental, "All About" and the bluesy "Blues Magic". Overall, I have to say, while I listened to this album, I marvelled over how each song has such a "live" feel to it, not the sterility of many studio albums. It almost sounds as if the band is plugged in and started jamming in my living room playing! I can't recommend this highly enough. Santana are definitely back in business. A big THANK YOU to the band for getting back together and making this happen. Let's hope this isn't the last we hear from the classic lineup. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

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