SANTANA — Abraxas (review)

SANTANA — Abraxas album cover Album · 1970 · Latin Rock/Soul Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
AtomicCrimsonRush
The second Santana album is the legendary classic "Abraxas". They are all great tracks and really feature heavily the stabbing overpowering Hammond. This is Santana at their proggiest best. The first Santana experience for me was the Woodstock 'Soul Sacrifice' performance with that wonderful guitar lick and the amazing drum solo.

After than I had heard 'Black Magic Woman', a classic with soulful vocals and played with virtuoso musicianship. This is a wonderful album, opening with congas and bongo drums and electric piano jamming on 'Singing Winds, Crying Beasts'. I love the atmospheres with the chimes and cymbal splashes. The jazzy grooves and lead guitar at the hand of the mighty Carlos on 'Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen' are hard to top. In fact the rest of the album battles to do so.

It is hard not to lock into the cool tribal grooves of 'Oye Como Va' or 'Se a Cobo'; Carlos is scintillating on lead guitar. The formula is set in stone on this album, and it is a constant with tracks such as 'Incident At Neshabur'. Gregg Rolie's keyboard work is exceptional, surely one of the all time greatest keyboardists. The fast tempos that lock in are infectious, capturing the trademark Santana atmosphere perfectly on 'Mother's Daughter', and the wonderful 'Samba Pa Ti' that graces many Santana compilations.

The lurid cover artwork may distract, and make it difficult to bounce the eyeballs away, but if you close your eyes and just drift off to this mesmirising music, Santana can really move the listener, with the extended jamming of Carlos and Rolie that are simply unsurpassed. Everything Santana did in the 70s is spine tingling and unforgettable jazz fusion music.
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