SANTANA — Caravanserai (review)

SANTANA — Caravanserai album cover Album · 1972 · Latin Rock/Soul Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
seyo
"Caravanserai" is Santana's fourth album, released in 1972, and is a masterpiece of jazz/rock/Latino/space/fusion. It contains no hits like the previous three albums. It is largely instrumental, beautiful piece of work that shows great amount of talent, imagination and creativity of Carlos Devadip Santana and his backing band.

It sounds like a thematic piece, albeit not a "concept", about mysticism surrounding caravans, desert, sand, sun and moon, day and night, and the universal values of life in general. The music here performed is Santana's first full foray into classic fusion. There are plenty of spacey and ambience keyboards (mostly Hammond and piano) and percussion. Bass is a forefront instrument in many moments on the album and it often sounds as played fretless, thus a wonderful melodic sound. Guitar is less dominant than on previous works, but in turn it fits nicely into the overall music journey, with effective and gentle solos right in proper places (Santana is sometimes prone to excessive "guitar hero" pyrotechnics and unnecessary soloing). The compositions are interconnected without pauses, so the listening process goes smoothly and uninterrupted.

Musicianship, composing and production are all perfect. For my taste the only flaw of this album are weak vocals in "All the Love of the Universe", which are too sweetie and come close to easy listening sound. All the rest is perfect. I would like to recommend "Caravanserai" especially to those people who don't like his classic Latin-rock sound of early, more commercial albums.
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