added: 8 May 2014
// release date: 1 May 2014 // label: Sony
reviewer: Andy Snipper
Anyone hoping that Carlos Santana will ever return to the hard edged material of yore must have been disabused time and again over the last few years but this series of pure latin collaborations actually contains a lot of what made Santana heroes in the first place.
His playing is fiery and soulful by turns. He actually sounds as though he is playing the music of his heart rather than another interesting exploration or jazz for money recording.
The duets include tracks with Gloria Estefan (Beijo De Longe), Pitbull (Oye 2014), the Fabullosa Caddilacs (Mai Bicho) along with many more and if I had to point to a weakness on the album it is probably the lack of a single theme or style.
That being said, you buy a Santana album for his guitar and he sounds better than he has for years.
The track ‘Yo Soy La Luz’ featuring Wayne Shorter is divine, Shorter’s sax perfectly underlaying Santana and his collaboration with Ziggy Marley on Bob Marley’s ‘Iron Lion Zion’ works brilliantly without losing the reggae punch of the original. ‘La Flaca’ keeps coming back to wonder at time and again – the guitar is so close to the Santana of legend and a joy from start to finish.
Santana is no longer the great Latin originator but he has one of the most recognizable styles on the planet and here he adds to every track and shows his mastery in many different forms.
It’s an album that I will be dipping into time and again for pure pleasure.
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