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Carlos Santana has crafted perhaps the finest album with which to close out the millennium. Consisting of " world " music of the highest order, Supernatural could be construed as a rallying call for people of all ages and colors. Moreover, the album offers glowing testimony to the timeless nature of the music Santana began crafting more than three decades ago. Born July 20, 1947, in Autlan, Mexico, Santana was steeped in music almost from the time he could speak.As a preschooler, Carlos began studying the violin at the encouragement of his father, who himself was an accomplished mariachi violinist. This indoctrination in "traditional" music served Santana well, but by the time his family moved to Tijuana in 1955, young Carlos had become smitten with rock and roll. Substituting a guitar for the violin, the aspiring rocker started mimicking the blues styles of such artists as T-Bone Walker , John Lee Hooker, and B.B. King .
By the time he was 13, Carlos was honing his six-string skills by playing in strip clubs in Tijuana. In 1961, however, he left Mexico to rejoin his family, who had moved to San Francisco the year before. Though he rebelled against his American schooling (" I didn't care about algebra or anything , I knew I was going to be a musician," he later told . " I had only one concern when making my new record," says Carlos... "Would Jimi Hendrix like it if he were here? Would there be enough guitar? It's important for me to appease Jimi and Wes Montgomery because I play for them, too." I mean, the first four or five years of Peter Green, because lately he plays more like Pat Martino. Staccato notes -- John Coltrane. And from Miles, you get the alchemy of making 50,000 notes into five. But with those five, you shake the world. That was Miles' supreme gift. He could play two or three notes and, man or woman, you'd just go, "Oh, my God." Listen to " Sketches of Spain." Play your guitar and try to keep up with the notes, the way he holds them, the breath of it. That's the voice of angels, man.
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Carlos was captivated by the culture of the Bay Area, as well as by the region's music scene. For the next five years the young guitarist immersed himself in that atmosphere as his own musical style evolved. In 1966, Santana joined forces with his friends Gregg Rolie, Gus Rodriguez, Michael Carabello, and Danny Haro to form the Santana Blues Band. The group spent its apprenticeship playing small clubs in San Francisco's Spanish-speaking Mission District, but word of the band's prowess spread quickly to Haight-Ashbury and other "rock" districts. Thanks to legendary promoter Bill Graham, the Santana Blues Band soon found itself being booked as a headliner and feature act at the Fillmore West. There, it shared billings with such notable acts as the Who, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and Miles Davis. Meanwhile, Carlos Santana made his recording debut guesting on an album titled " The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper ". Though the band had yet to sign a record contract, a pivotal break came in 1969, when at Graham's insistence the rechristened Santana was invited to appear at that year's Woodstock festival. , Carlos led his band though an electrifying performance. By that time, the group had undergone the first of what would become ongoing changes in personnel. However, Santana's musical style \ a blend of Latin beats, African rhythms, and psychedelic-tinged American blues centered on Carlos' incendiary guitar work \ had never been on firmer footing.
In the aftermath of Woodstock , interest in Santana reached a fever pitch. Courted by several record companies, the band finally settled o n Columbia Records, a label headed by Clive Davis. Released in November of 1969, the group's debut album, Santana, achieved massive critical and commercial success, spurred in large part by the Top 40 singles "Jingo" and "Evil Ways." Subsequent albums proved nearly as popular, as Abraxas (1970), Santana III (1972), Caravanserai (1972), and Welcome (1973) all reached gold or platinum status, and spawned such hits as " Black Magic Woman," "Oye Como Va" and "No One to Depend On." Carlos also found time to work on a number of collaborative projects, including the 1972 album Carlos Santana and Buddy Miles! Live! and the 1973 effort " Love, Devotion, Surrender " , recorded with Mahavishnu Orchestra leader John McLaughlin. Beginning with the 1972 album, Caravanserai , Carlos began showing signs of musical restlessness.You see, great music comes not from thinking, but from pure emotion. As the Grateful Dead people say, " it's when the music plays you .You make the best music when you're not conscious of doing it. I've been saying these things since the beginning. I remember getting in trouble with Frank Zappa -- I'm pretty sure he coined the phrase, "shut up and play your guitar" for people like me, because we talk a lot! But I am passionate about turning on massive amounts of kids and pulling them out of that miserable state. I want to turn them over. You don't have to be Jimi Hendrix or Charlie Parker -- you can get it done in your own way. God made the world round so we can all have center stage. Everybody is important, as long as you're doing it from your heart.
Owls Eye Images @ liveconcertphotos.com
Special thanks to TIM OWEN for his very kind permission in allowing me to use his fantastic LIVE fotos of Carlos on my website .....Thank you TIM !!
Expanding on the formula that had brought Santana mainstream success, the guitarist took the band in a more ambitious, jazz-based direction. Radio listeners (and some of the group's members) were less than enthused with the stylistic changes, however, and from a commercial standpoint Santana's albums began to flounder. Nonetheless, the next two decades were marked by a number of career high points. Among Santana's mo re noteworthy achievements during the '70s and '80s were: being the first band featured on a BBC TV-radio simulcast (1976); earning an Album of the Year award from Japanese critics for the 1976 release, Amigos ; garnering a Top 30 hit with a cover version of the Zombies' 1964 smash, "She's Not There" (1977); and being the first band to receive CBS Records' Crystal Globe Award for selling more than 5 million records internationally (1977). In addition, as a solo artist, Carlos composed the score to the 1986 feature film, La Bamba , participated in the first-ever joint U.S.-Soviet rock concert in history in 1987, and made a pivotal contribution to John Lee Hooker's 1989 comeback album, The Healer .
Enticed by the promise to receive his own label imprint, Santana signed to Polydor Records in 1992, ending a nearly quarter-century relationship with Columbia. For the next eight years the guitarist divided his time between album work, touring, and humanitarian and civic causes. A flurry of awards and accolades came in the mid and late 1990s , including being conferred the honor of Latino Music Legend of the Year during the Chicano Music Awards in 1997, receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998, and being elected (as part of the original Santana group) to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that same year.Little did Carlos Santana know, however, that his greatest success, at least from a recording standpoint, lay just ahead. In 1995, Santana accepted a request to participate in a sound-bite video extolling Clive Davis' contribution to the arts and humanities. The project helped to rekindle the relationship between the old friends, and after much discussion of musical goals and strategy, Santana agreed to sign to Arista Records, the label Davis currently heads. With Davis acting as co-producer, the two men set out to record an album that would pair Santana with some of today's most gifted young artists. The result, Supernatural , finds the guitarist collaborating with such unlikely songwriters as Dave Matthews, Lauryn Hill , Eric Everlast , Wyclef Jean , Eagle Eye Cherry, The Product G&B and Matchbox 20 frontman Rob Thomas.
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Aging rockers everywhere must be drooling. The unexpected success of Carlos Santana's latest aptly-titled album Supernatural has proven to the music world that artists over 50 can still produce a number one album. The success of this release comes at a time when most of the music industry had written Santana off as an over the hill guitarist with an out of date sense of style, and a penchant for discussing everyday experiences in sweeping spiritual terms.Thankfully, not everyone was ready to give up on Carlos yet. Clive Davis shared Santana's vision, and signed the veteran to Arista Records (a label which often focuses on signing older artists), almost 30 years after Davis first signed the young Latin guitarist to Columbia Records. The concept the first recording Santana would make for Arista was one familiar to Davis (who co-produced the effort); pair the guitarist up with several popular guest stars, to try and introduce him to a younger audience. Arista certainly spared no expense in the effort; appearances by Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20), Everlast, Lauryn Hill, Dave Matthews, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Eric Clapton, and others, ensured that the recording would receive significantly higher visibility than a typical Santana release.
But no one, perhaps not even Santana himself, imagined just how successful Supernatural would be.Released on June 15th, 1999, Supernatural didn't actually top the pop charts until the week ending October 17th, 1999; a week that saw 170,000 copies of the album being sold. Supernatural stayed at the top of the pop charts for three full weeks, perched above albums by pop music darlings like The Backstreet Boys, Mariah Carey and Britney Spears. Much of the reason behind album's sales is being credited to the huge success of the single "Smooth" (a collaboration with Matchbox 20's Rob Thomas), a tune which Santana describes in an interview with CD Now as "New York, Spanish Harlem.. that spirit of Spanish Harlem".Whether the album's success translates into a new generation of listeners being turned on to the music of Santana remains to be seen. While the guitarist's body of work has been notorious uneven, there is certainly a vast amount of highly accessible music in the Santana catalogue that could be as marketable as anything on Supernatural. No plans have as of yet been announced for any re-issue projects. Supernatuaral was , and still is supernatural .There are some notable performances on supernatural , Dave Mattews love of my life shines.
Eric Clapton turns in a stellar contribution as well. The album has sold more than 25 million copies, the first single, "Smooth," reached the No. 1 slot on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, and the album itself hit No. 2 on the album chart four months after its release. It may seem like a sleeper success story, but according to Santana, it's all just part of the plan. Further fueling his mystical vibe, the guitarist recently told Wall of Sound, " This CD is assigned and designed to reach junior high schools, high schools, and universities. With Lauryn Hill and Dave Matthews , it was designed to assault the radio airwaves with the Santana vibration, in unity with all these incredible artists, for the purpose of re-arranging the molecular structure in the listener." So far, his magic seems to be working. ;-)
I dedicate this page to you Carlos in appreciation for the joy your music brings me !!!
THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH CARLOS !!!
" If you're going to sweep the floor, sweep it better than anybody intown.
And if you're going to play the guitar, really, really, really get in it, and don't be jivin'. " - Carlos Santana.
VIVA CARLOS SANTANA !!!
. . . . SPECIAL THANKS .
I would like to thank all the past / present santana band members for their invaluable contribution over the years to the santana band and to the santana sound .............., People like... Karl Perazzo ,Gregg Rolie , Alex Ligertwood , Michael Shrieve , Walfredo Reyes, Greg Walker , Leon Thomas , Alfonso Johnson , Jorge Santana , Myron Dove , Tom Coster , Armando Perazo , Rodney Holmes , Michael Carabello , Tony Lindsay , Benny Rietveld , Chester Thompson , again the list is endless!!!!
THANKS TO EACH AND EVERY SANTANA BAND MEMBER
PAST AND PRESENT !
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