AUDIO COMMENTARY

Santana

Time: 4:47 minutes
Excerpt: "Santana’s multi-racial band was a beacon for the hopes of the 1960s civil rights movement. As promoter Bill Graham reportedly told the band, “Before you hit one note, you guys are going to show that blacks, Chicanos, Cubans and Anglos can work together.”"
full transcript

“Waiting” - (tr. 1 on Santana 1) (start at 1st short guitar solo)

[LISTEN]

In 1969, “Latin Rock” topped the charts when Santana released their electrifying debut album. It was an explosive combination of electric guitar and organ from San Francisco’s psychedelic rock scene and the conga and timbales from Afro-Latin percussionists who jammed in Bay Area parks.

“Evil Ways” - (tr. 2 on Santana 1)

Santana’s original lineup was a multi-ethnic mix in the psychedelic atmosphere of the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. The first three Santana albums feature Chepito Areas on timbales, Mike Carabello on congas and Greg Rolie on organ and vocals.

[LISTEN]

Mexican guitarist Carlos Santana blended blues phrasing with syncopated melodies from various Latin American styles in soulful guitar solos, driven by a fierce percussion section.

“Soul Sacrifice”

“Soul Sacrifice” - (either the studio or live Woodstock version)

Millions experienced Santana’s explosive energy in their performance at the Woodstock Music Festival in August 1969. Santana’s multi-racial band was a beacon for the hopes of the 1960s civil rights movement. As promoter Bill Graham reportedly told the band, “Before you hit one note, you guys are going to show that blacks, Chicanos, Cubans and Anglos can work together.”

“Oye Como Va” - (Puente version) and  Oye Como Va - (Santana version Abraxas, tr. 3)

In 1970, Santana’s second album Abraxas featured a cover version of Nuyorican Tito Puente’s classic chachachá “Oye Como Va”. [Speak: “cha-cha-chá, etc.]

Check out how Santana creates a rock sound by replacing the flute with overdriven guitar, the acoustic bass with electric bass and the piano with electric organ, while keeping the classic sound of Latin percussion—especially the timbales, which were Puente’s instrument.

“A Love Supreme” from Love, Devotion Surrender

 

By 1972, Santana’s original members parted ways as Carlos Santana delved into a new experimental phase. Here he joins British guitarist John McLaughlin in a spiritual and musical quest. In this song, they trade solos on a version of John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”: You can hear McLaughlin’s Indian sitar-influenced guitar in the right speaker. Santana’s bluesier riffs are panned to the left speaker.

[LISTEN]

Smooth (tr 5) from Supernatural - guitar intro

 

After 30 years of experimentation, in 1999, Carlos Santana showed the world he was still a master of the electric guitar.  Continuing to fuse styles, his multi-platinum album Supernatural, is a team effort, where he plays with younger musicians like Dave Matthews, Cee-Lo, and Lauryn Hill. This huge hit, “Smooth,” features singer Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20. Santana’s searing lead guitar soars over a full salsa arrangement. This song is an electrified chachachá, reminiscent of the rhythm of some of his earliest hits.

[LISTEN]