Santana - Santana (1969)

Santana are a rock band who have been active since the late 1960s, based around guitarist and leader Carlos Santana, and known for their fusion of rock and latin music.
Carlos Santana was born in Mexico in 1947, and moved to San Francisco during the 1960s. With a love of jazz and blues music, he began to develop into a talented guitarist, at the same time absorbing the hippie scene of San Francisco. He formed the Carlos Santana Blues Band in 1967, which soon became renowned for their improvisational jam-based style. They stood out for their incorporation of latin musical styles into their sound, and by 1969 were signed to Columbia Records, having changed their name to simply Santana. Their big break was their highly-acclaimed performance at the Woodstock festival, which really brought them to public attention.
Their debut album came out that same summer. It was a truly innovative release, laying down the framework for their signature sound, with its fusion of latin-styled rock, blues, jazz, salsa and African rhythms. By this time the band's line-up consisted of Carlos Santana (guitar/vocals), Gregg Rolie (keyboards/vocals), David Brown (bass), Michael Shrieve (drums), Michael Carabello (percussion) and Jose Areas (percussion). The focus of the album was on their instrumental interplay, driven by the three-piece percussion section and led by Santana's fast-paced, bluesy electric guitar work. Most of the album consisted of instrumentals, as was fitting considering their jam band roots, though there were a few vocal numbers brought in to attract a wider audience, with Gregg Rolie proving to be an excellent lead singer. This was a good idea, as their cover of "Evil Ways" (originally written by Clarence 'Sonny' Henry) became a #9 hit single. Following in its wake, the album got to #4.

|> Abraxas (1970)

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Anonymous said...

What a great site! So glad to have found it. I saw Santana at the Capitol Theater in Portchester, NY, in the summer of '70, as they were promoting this album. They were fantastic as the headliners. The opening act was John Lee Hooker -- him, an electric guitar, an amp, and a bottle of Jack Daniels. Incredible show.

El Juli said...

Thank you!!! Excellent blog!!!