I love Santana, both group & Carlos’ solo work. On the shelf I have as stand-alone or as part of mp3 collections.: 1st (1969), Abraxas (1970), III (1971)(35th Anniversary), Live ’71 in Los Angeles, Caravanserai (1972), Welcome (1973), Love Devotion Surrender (1973) with John McLaughlin, Borboletta (1974), Amigos (1976), Festival (1977) (2006 remaster), Swing Of Delight (1980), Supernatural (1999), Divine Light (2001), IV (2016) – reunion of original members.
The original band was dynamic, inventive & psychedelic. Just compare their Black Magic Woman with the Fleetwood Mac original. They helped spark the interest in Latino music as something more than polite sambas & slinky tangos. My favourite is Abraxas – with its amazing cover art & astonishing engineering, plus his amazing guitar work. I really loved the energy of the next two: III & Caravanserai.
The band changed personnel & shifted slightly in direction as well. The latin roots remained but moved into that m.o.r mystic sound – the sort of shift that happened with Chicago (which went from rocky jazz to syrupy romantic). I enjoyed some it but if I wanted Air Earth Wind & Fire I would have bought them. Carlos also did some fine solo work that was in that Mahavishnu fusion jazz, in fact recorded a Coltrane tribute ‘Love Devotion Surrender’ with John McLaughlin. His solo work is not as percussion driven.
His ‘return’ with Supernatural was thanks to smart pairings & great song writers. A bit too slickly c commercial but it did help boost that incredible back-catalogue. Many of those early lps have been released on cd with lots of bonus live tracks, including the group’s Woodstock set.
On the mp3 cd I added some amazing Latino performers. Jose Feliciano – he paved the way for Santana with his sweet folksy style – Feliciano! (1968) remains a favourite of mine thanks to his covers of songs like Light My Fire, as well as traditional songs like Nena. The Best Of (1985) is a good introduction to him & if you want his Spanish work there is A Spanish Portrait (1976). Along with Jose Feliciano, Santana brought world music into the ‘mainstream,’ opening the doors for groups like Osibisa, Malo & Mandrill.
Keeping with Latino I added Swami Jr.: Outra Praia (2007) He is an amazing Brazil guitarist who walks the line between jazz & folk, but closer to that jazz side. I would recommend anything he’s playing on.
I discovered Brazilian Otto’s video for Bob on YouTube – the song is on Samba Pra Burro (1998) – the song is amazing. This is rock/pop music with some touches of rap. He is hot to watch & I have another couple of his lps on other mp3 collections – because sometimes one is not enough.
O Samba (1989) is a nice collection of various Latino artists that makes a good interaction to the sound & if you like an artist here you can track down their albums. The whole latin sound permeates jazz from sax plays to vocalists including Rosemary Clooney, so I added her lp Brazil (2000) to this cd & she does good work on classic songs out of Brazil. Nothing daring but all swings sweetly.
Finally something totally different is there soundtrack from Faster Pussy Cat! Kill Kill (1965) released in 1999. Rock-a-billy stripper music with great dialogue excerpts from the film. The cast & even the director were intimidated by Tura Satana & hearing the moment when she breaks some sap’s arms is precious. A must have for any fan of this movie. This full soundtrack eventually was released due to fan demand.