Santana has sold 90+ million albums worldwide, played in the festival that was the culmination of the 1960’s at Woodstock, and has won numerous Grammy’s. Their 1970 record, Abraxas, should be mandatory listening, and yet they seem to fly way under the radar. While Carlos Santana is one of the guitar greats fusing Latin inspired music with rock and funk, there are many other talented musicians that played alongside the band’s namesake. Lucky for us, the original core members of Santana including: Gregg Rolie, Mike Carabello, Neal Schon, and Santana himself have reunited after 45 years to record Santana IV.
They haven’t lost a step since 1971’s Santana III. Opening track “Yambu” begins with a growl and a nod to the polyrhythmic beats that mark the band’s signature sound. “Fillmore East” is a royally majestic and flowing psychedelic trip. “Love Makes the World go Round” offers vocals from guest collaborator Ronald Isley, peppering the song with a spot on horn section. “All Aboard” offers a new age experiment in orchestration. “Suenos” is a sultry venture in blues with beautiful Spanish guitar.
With that being said, the old bandmates offer a new energy behind the Santana name. Carlos Santana is still the star of the show and is one of the few guitarists whose craft is instantly recognizable, but the rest of the band is very gifted in their own right and provide a nice seasoned finish to a great record.