Latin Rock/Soul

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Latin Rock and Soul combines the instrumentation, emphasized back-beat and volume of rock and RnB with the complicated rhythms of Afro-Cuban jazz and other Latin styles. The early music of Santana is an excellent example of an Afro-Cuban/rock mixture. Carlos Santana's loud distorted guitar would cover the high melodic brass parts, Greg Rollie's B3 would cover the rhythm and mid-range parts, and the two extra percussionists would cover the clave and other rhythm parts giving the seven piece band the sound of a full Afro-Cuban jazz band.

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Showing only albums and live's | Based on members ratings & JMA custom algorithm | 5 min. caching

SANTANA Caravanserai Album Cover Caravanserai
4.69 | 38 ratings
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SANTANA Abraxas Album Cover Abraxas
4.40 | 25 ratings
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SANTANA Santana Album Cover Santana
4.40 | 24 ratings
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SANTANA Santana III Album Cover Santana III
4.32 | 22 ratings
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SANTANA Moonflower Album Cover Moonflower
4.46 | 8 ratings
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HARLEM RIVER DRIVE Harlem River Drive Album Cover Harlem River Drive
4.95 | 2 ratings
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CARLOS SANTANA Carlos Santana And Buddy Miles Live ! Album Cover Carlos Santana And Buddy Miles Live !
4.25 | 4 ratings
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WAR The World Is a Ghetto Album Cover The World Is a Ghetto
4.00 | 4 ratings
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CARLOS SANTANA Live at the 1988 Montreux Jazz Festival (with Wayne Shorter) Album Cover Live at the 1988 Montreux Jazz Festival (with Wayne Shorter)
3.88 | 4 ratings
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SANTANA Live at the Fillmore 1968 Album Cover Live at the Fillmore 1968
3.88 | 3 ratings
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CARLOS SANTANA Oneness: Silver Dreams - Golden Reality Album Cover Oneness: Silver Dreams - Golden Reality
3.79 | 3 ratings
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SANTANA Live In Japan Album Cover Live In Japan
4.00 | 1 ratings
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Album · 1969 · Latin Rock/Soul
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siLLy puPPy
Nothing screams the summer of 69 and the Woodstock event for me more than SANTANA. One day they were simply the Carlos Santana Band doing small gig venues in San Francisco and the next day after performing at that event they were watching their debut album racing up the charts and reaching number 4 on Billboard. “Evil Ways” also proved to be a huge top 10 hit as well. This rags to riches story may have happened anyway but perhaps not so fast. Their slot on the Woodstock event was actually won by the flip of a coin. Michael Lang, the concert promoter was pressured by Bill Graham to include one of the the acts that Bill managed. It was down to SANTANA and It's A Beautiful Day, another San Francisco band. The coin was flipped, SANTANA won, and enjoyed instant popularity and as we all know, much more was to come.

This is gorgeous album from beginning to end. SANTANA started out as a jam band but was advised to write a few more structured songs by Graham. The result is a perfect mix of free jam energy with structured songwriting that the band perfectly performs knowing when enough is enough and to move on to something else. This new Latin jazz fusion of the day took the world by storm and with half of the band dedicated to percussive instruments it's no wonder the world was mesmerized by this energetic mix of Latin jazz, Afro-Cuban rhythms and heavy psych blues that tied it all to the era. This is one of those album I never tire of. It has a timeless quality to it yet it always brings me to that time and place before my time. My personal favorite SANTANA is this one and what a beauty it is.

BROWNOUT Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath

Album · 2014 · Latin Rock/Soul
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Brownout is a Latin RnB/rock/funk outfit from Austin Texas that was created when members of popular cumbia band Grupo Fantasana decided to play some covers by the likes of Santana, EW&F and the P-funk mob for the fun of it. Their first ep did so well that they decided to keep the group going and record more albums. Somewhere along the way they came up with the idea of doing whole shows made up of Black Sabbath cover tunes and that was the birth of Brown Sabbath. “Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath” is like one big party on record where heavy Black Sabbath riffs meet Latin percussion and funk grooves. It’s a good record, but I have a feeling this is something that hits its real peak in a live performance. Nothing too serious or subtle going on here, just good times where rock crunch is pushed with a big horn section and that steady Latin RnB groove.

Some of the Sabbath covers have singers and they play those tunes more or less like the originals, while others like “Iron Man” and “Black Sabbath” are instrumental and are rearranged so that riffs that work best with the RnB groove are kept, and the riffs that are not as pliable are tossed aside. Guest singer Alex Mannero is a dead ringer for Ozzy on “Wizard”, but oddly enough, he sounds a lot like Jack Bruce on N.I.B., which ends up making you realize how similar Sabbath was to Cream sometimes. As mentioned earlier, this is probably a band that is best experienced live, I’m sure their sound is powerful. I don’t know how long they will be able to keep this sort of schtick going, these sort of gimmicks can have a short shelf life, then again, Dread Zepplin, turned their reggae-Elvis-Zepplin wackiness into a career. To their credit though, Brownout is being more or less serious here and not near as absurd or silly as Dread Zep. Still, someday in the future, I would imagine Brownout’s songs are going to show up on odd cover song collections along side ska versions of Green Day and exotica covers of Nirvana.

If Black Sabbath covers played by an excellent modern funky Latin rock band sounds like a good time to you, go for it, these guys really smoke, excellent players all the way around.


Album · 1971 · Latin Rock/Soul
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“Santana 3”, the 3rd excellent album in a row for the band, has some rather heavy rhythms and riffs as the band explore heavier territory. The opener ‘Batuka’ is much more heavily reliant on a riff, and a killer one at that, as Carlos is then given freedom to unleash a flurry of notes on his lead guitar. The singing comes in on ‘No One To Depend On’ and sounds appropriate after that incredible intro. The lead guitar holds back but latches onto a cool laid back melody.

The real Santana sound of shimmering Hammond, frantic bongos and guitar poetry is heard on ‘Taboo’. The voice is as always laid back and soulful, with the kind of sound and structure as ‘Black Magic Woman’; the winning formula for the band. Frenetic tribal percussion and blistering guitar runs drive ‘Toussaint l' Overture’, and I love that Hammond sound from Rolie, one of the best keyboardists. This one is a freakout of manic instrumental intensity, the way the band loved to unleash its power on these 70s albums. When the vocals come in they have a Latin flavour.

‘Everybody's Everything’ is a short blast with a lot of swinging brass and a soul man style vocalist, and a terrific Hammond break. ‘Guajira’ has a laid back feel, nice vox, measured Samba rhythm, and cool guitars. ‘Jungle Strut’ has the type of feel in the intro that would follow with the excellent “Caravanserai” album. this locks into a wild rhythmic percussion and some bluesy lead guitar licks; Carlos at his best. The song ‘Everything’s Coming Our Way’ is too commercial for my tastes but ‘Para Los Rumberos’ closes with a great jazzy brass and Latino percussion explosion.

Overall this is not as great as the debut or “Abraxas” but still rocks with a ton of keyboard and guitar brilliance. I am not a fan of the vocal treatment on this but the musicianship is incredible, and proves the band were a force to be reckoned with. Pioneers, legends, virtuosos, and this is another milestone album of Latin rock. “Caravanserai” would completely blow this album away for infamy in music history, and with 4 albums in a row that are still loved and treasured today, Santana were untouchable in the early 70s.


Album · 1970 · Latin Rock/Soul
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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.

SANTANA The Ultimate Collection

Boxset / Compilation · 1998 · Latin Rock/Soul
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Santana Ultimate Collection is exactly what it sets out to be - an ultimate experience of Santana.

Not being a massive fan of Santana I knew eventually I would at least get hold of a greatest hits compilation as there are so many available and at the minimum the band are important in the prog subgenre as jazz fusion progenitors. I have the recent album with Carlos playing with a variety of singers but it is not a good example of the diversity of this band and is so up to date and not really progressive. The 3 CD set I am viewing is known as Santana Gold Greatest and is identical in track order as the Ultimate Collection 2 CD set. The packaging is different but every track is featured. It is a delight to listen to these tracks in the chronological order that they are presented as it takes the listener on a journey showing how Santana have progressed from album to album.

The first few tracks are taken from the debut Santana and the legendary classic Abraxas. Tracks 1-3 are from the debut and tracks 4-7 are from 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. Nothing could compare to that but the studio version is still not too bad. 'Black Magic Woman' is a classic with vocals but many of these earlier tracks are instrumentals and played with virtuoso musicianship. Tracks 8-11 are from Santana 3 and they are all wonderful. The 2 tracks follow from Caravanserai and are good but it is much better to listen to that album in its entirety (another album I have in my collection).

Track 14 is from Welcome, track 15 is from Borboletta, tracks 16-17 from Amigos and tracks 18-19 from Festival. CD 1 showcases Santana from 1969-1976 and is definitely the best part of this collection - everything they did in the 70s is spine tingling and unforgettable music.

CD2 features the group from 1976-1990 and is full of edited tracks which is a shame because it ruins the experience. It begins with an edit of Revelations from Festival and some singles follow. Tracks 5-6 are edited from Inner Secrets. Tracks 7-9 are all edits from Marathon. Tracks 10-12 are full versions from Zebop. Track 13-14 are from Shango, tracks 15-16 from Beyond Appearances, and there's an edited version of Veracruz from Freedom from 1987. The only track from 1990's Spirits Dancing in the Flesh is Gypsy Woman.

When the album tracks are chosen for a compilation it is debatable whether the right choice is taken. I would disagree with the 2 tracks from Caravanserai though I can understand given the space on a disk that the lengthier tracks were unsuitable. I cannot speak for the others as I do not have the albums. There are a lot of edited tracks on this compilation and some of the riffs and jams are removed as a result spoiling the experience. There is a notable change in direction for Santana during the 80s, as most bands were subject to, but it is still very well executed music. Carlos' interplanetary guitar sings, soars and swoops majestically on every track, the drums pound and you have to love those bongo and tom tom metrical patterns, very Latin at times, and every time signature mesmirising.

In summary, there is a lot to offer here as a starting point for Santana, but those with every album need not venture into this unless they want to complete their collection and get everything the band slapped their name on. However, it is worth reminding you that this collection of songs comes in a variety of forms, the one I have is the 3 CD Gold series, a much cheaper purchase than the original packaging. I have seen this on the shelves in market stores recently in another packaging would you believe as a new release and as a budget purchase!

Furthermore, a lot of these tracks appear on smaller compilations but I believe it is better to get this collection as it showcases the best of the band and leaves out very little if you can stand all the edited tracks (9 edited tracks total!). The compilation is excellent despite the flaws and is well worth getting hold of for the budget price. What you have here is a collection of what made this band one of the most popular and most innovative groups of rock history.

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