Santana III [Legacy Edition]

Santana III [Legacy Edition]

by Santana
     
 

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Santana III is an album that undeservingly stands in the shadows behind the towering legend that is the band's second album, Abraxas. This was also the album that brought guitarist Neal Schon -- who was then 15-years-old -- into the original core lineup of Santana. Percussionist Thomas "Coke" Escovedo was

Overview

Santana III is an album that undeservingly stands in the shadows behind the towering legend that is the band's second album, Abraxas. This was also the album that brought guitarist Neal Schon -- who was then 15-years-old -- into the original core lineup of Santana. Percussionist Thomas "Coke" Escovedo was brought in to temporarly replace Chepito Areas, who had suffered a brain aneurysm, yet who recovered quickly and rejoined the band. The rest of the group includes Carlos, organist Gregg Rolie, drummer Michael Schrieve, bassist David Brown, and conguero Mike Carabello. "Batuka" is the powerful first evidence of something being very different. The band were rawer, darker, and more powerful, with twin leads and Schon's harder, edgier rock & roll sound and Carlos' blend of ecstatic high notes and soulful fills. It cooks, it's funky, mean, and tough. "Batuka" then immediately transforms itself into "No One to Depend On," by Escovedo, Carabello, and Rolie. Its middle section is filled with frantic handclaps and call-and-response lines between Schon and Rolie, with Carlos joining the fray until the entire track explodes into a frenzied finale. And what's most remarkable is that the set just keeps on cooking. From the subtle, slow burn of "Taboo" to the percussive jam workout that is "Toussaint LOverture" -- a live staple in the band's set list recorded here for the first time -- it features some masterful Rolie organ work at its beginning. "Everybody's Everything" is here, as is "Guajira" and "Jungle Strut" -- tunes that are still part of Santana's live shows. "Everything's Coming Our Way" is the only "feel good" tune on the album with acoustic guitars, gorgeous hand percussion, and Santana's fragile lead vocal, but it's a fitting way to close with the Schon and Santana guitar breaks. The album ends with a completely transformed reading of Tito Puente's "Para los Rumberos," complete with horns and frantic, almost insanely fast hand-drumming and cowbell playing. It's an album that has aged extremely well due to its spare production (by Carlos and the band) and its live sound. In the 2006 remastered Legacy Edition, there are four bonus cuts from the same sessions including the single version of "No One to Depend On," and the fine jams "Folsom Street -- One," and "Banbeye" -- the two total almost 18 minutes. "Gumbo" is here also, but its live impact is not felt so much on the studio version. And there's way more. The second disc here is a live gig that was the last show on the last night of the Fillmore West. Some of these cuts have appeared in various places, but the gig has never been issued in full before. Bill Graham introduces the band with: "What better way than to close with the music of the streets, Santana!" And off they go. The band are trying the album out on an audience, and they are at their rawest, loosest, and most carefree. They follow the rule of the studio disc for the first four tunes -- changing the order a bit but previewing the new LP nonetheless -- and the crowd goes nuts. Then they dig back: "Black Magic Woman" medleys into "Gypsy Queen" and "Incident at Neshabur." At this point, things quiet down and Carlos' guitar begins to float just a bit, Shrieve's cymbals begin to shimmer and whisper, and Schon throws in a note or two before they count off and move headlong into a ragged Latin version of "In a Silent Way," written by Joe Zawinul and titled after Miles Davis famed album. But it works, and once more the band is pushing the envelope with killer soloing by the two guitarists and driving percussion pointing toward something they cannot see but can feel. The seam splits on "Savor," and the band rip it wide open on this version of "Para los Rumberos." The five-and-a-half-minute "Gumbo" that closes the show is far more intense than the studio read and sends everyone out into the night in ecstasy. The double gatefold slipcased package here is handsome, but it's the music and author Jim McCarthy's fine liner notes that count. This is essential Santana, a record that deserves to be reconsidered in light of its lasting abundance and vision.

Editorial Reviews

Rolling Stone - Tom Moon
Everybody sounds stoked -- the rhythm section drives guitarist Carlos Santana into simultaneously agitated and poised solos...that sustain an elusive state of polyrhythmic bliss.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/21/2006
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0827969027028
catalogNumber:
90270

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Santana   Primary Artist
Michael Shrieve   Percussion,Drums,Vibes
Linda Tillery   Background Vocals
Neal Schon   Guitar
Luis Gasca   Trumpet
José Chepitó Areas   Percussion,Conga,Drums,Flugelhorn,Timbales,Vocals,Background Vocals
Gregg Rolie   Organ,Piano,Vocals
Coke Escovedo   Percussion,Background Vocals
David Brown   Bass,Bass Guitar
Mike Carabello   Percussion,Conga,Tambourine,Vocals,Background Vocals
Greg Errico   Tambourine
Mario Ochoa   Piano,Soloist
Rico Reyes   Vocals,Background Vocals
Carlos Santana   Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Tower Of Power Horns   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Gene Ammons   Composer
Santana   Producer,Audio Production
Jim McCarthy   Liner Notes
David Brown   Composer
Glen Kolotkin   Engineer
Mike Larner   Engineer
D. Brown   Engineer
Bob Irwin   Producer
Carlos Santana   Composer
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction
Teddy Moss   Composer
Diana Clemente   Packaging Manager
Santana Musicians   Producer

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