SANTANA — Santana (review)

SANTANA — Santana album cover Album · 1969 · Latin Rock/Soul Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
dreadpirateroberts
Undeniably an amazing debut.

While not my favourite Santana release, it's just about as good as any from their classic period. They still have that San Francisco jam-band feel, which is later replaced by a jazzier approach, but at the same time it's an impressive blend of the Latin and Rock styles. The songwriting isn't as interesting as it would later become, but the key early-period Santana elements are here. Percussion, inventive use of organ and guitar (and not only in the form of Carlos' his soon-to-be trademark lead sound but his rhythm playing too) Shrieve's excellent work and the catchy vocal tunes supporting instrumental pieces.

It also includes several covers, one being the important hit single 'Evil Ways' and a version of 'Jingo' by Babatunde Olatunji (which I didn't realise until writing this review.) Of course, they aren't just carbon copies of other peoples' songs - they're Santana-fied, something the band also do well on their follow up 'Abraxas.' But for my money, the single-that-should have-been, 'Persuasion' is the better piece, it's more urgent and that rhythm guitar is just great - a tightly arranged rocker if ever they wrote one.

The influence of the blues should be mentioned of course - from the fairly stock-standard lyrics to the effective outro of 'Treat' or 'You Just Don't Care' and 'Persuasion.' The showcase piece, 'Soul Sacrifice' is a little more indicative of where they would head across the next few albums and is a great closer.

While they'd become far more interested in pursuing a jazz sound (well, some of the band anyway) there's nothing truly unenjoyable here for a jazz fan with an ear for rock and the Latin sound. Santana would reach higher peaks of creativity with their follow up and especially with 'Caravanserai' but don't overlook this album.
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

In D World Fusion
BROOKLYN RAGA MASSIVE
Buy this album from MMA partners
Jahari Masamba Unit : Pardon My French Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop
MADLIB
Buy this album from MMA partners
Universe RnB
NEAL SCHON
Buy this album from MMA partners
Haunted Carbonek Jazz Related Improv/Composition
MARTIN PYNE
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

Papa John Creach - "Bumble Bee Blues"
PAPA JOHN CREACH
js· 92 minutes ago
Great 3 Kikuchi=Peacock=Togashi - Begin the Beguine (Full Album)
GREAT 3 (MASABUMI KIKUCHI - GARY PEACOCK - MASAHIKO TOGASHI)
snobb· 12 hours ago
The Way You Say I Think You Think
GIOVANNI CIGUI
js· 21 hours ago
Dans mon pays
MATTHIEU BORDENAVE
js· 21 hours ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us