Wings of Grace

The Santana compilation that provides quality reflection is Dance of the Rainbow Serpent a 1995 three CD box set. I love the cover art as well as the multi-color graphic images that grace the extensive booklet by Michael Rios
 
If I had to recommend one definitive Santana recording to own prior to Supernatural it would be this magnificent box set. Dance of the Rainbow Serpent is a special collection like a museum curator would put together for an exhibit. The packaging is superb as the 60 page booklet captivates the senses of Santana fans. I identify with the themes of the three CDs, Heart, Soul and Spirit. The music covers the Santana catalog including unreleased studio and live recordings from 1969 to 1995. 
The track from the box set that has captured my heart is, “Wings of Grace”. The live track on the Spirit CD was curated from the Santana Sacred Fire, Live In Mexico DVD recording. Michael Rios created this exciting cover as well as the stage art that serves as the backdrop for the concert in Mexico City.
Float your spirit on the “Wings of Grace”, Peace.

wings of grace (the dreamers)*

What shall we do with the dreams
Who see a world we can never know
Who have found a place of wonder
Where only children dare to go

What shall we do with the dreams
Whose world has no room for hate
Whose vision of tomorrow’s promise
Is so far removed from our fate

For they dream of a thousand tomorrows
Each one better than the one before
A future filled with compassion
For the tired, the weak, the hungry and the poor

What shall we do with the dreamers
Who no longer answer when we ask why
Who work to make their world better
And are unafraid to try

What shall we say to the dreamers
Whose lives make ours seem so bare
Who make us feel so empty
Because they dare to care

For they dream not of thing done before
But of the miracles which lie ahead
Of the needy who can be assisted
And the famished who can be fed

What shall we make of the dreamers
When they choose not to live as we
When they say our world has no meaning
As long as others are still not free

What shall we think of the dreamers
When they no longer listen to what we say
When their silence leaves us uneasy
And they refuse to go away

For they dream of fanciful figures
Poised in mid flight
Angels with wings of grace
Floating on the light

Messengers from the next world
So unfamiliar but yet not strange
Bringing word of the new world
The beginning of the change

*Poem by Hal Miller © 1994

Instrumental Songwriting Team
Santana, Carlos, Thompson, Chester

© 1993 Carlos Santana/Light Music/Micache Music/Stellabella Music/Champ Jacob Music/Urmila Music

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Chill Out (Things Gonna Change) – John Lee Hooker, Carlos Santana and Chester Thompson

John Lee Hooker - Chill Out  1995
John Lee Hooker – Chill Out 1995 (Photo credit: oddsock)

I love this video and the vibe it generates. “Chill Out” with Carlos Santana, Chester Thompson and the late, great bluesman, John Lee Hooker.

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Frank Zappa – A Token of His Extreme (DVD)

Imagine turning on public television and discovering Frank Zappa on your dial. Well on August 27, 1974 that actually happened on KCET in Hollywood. KCET is the nation’s largest independent public television station.

Thank God for public television and the risks it takes delivering the arts to viewers. This television program was created and edited by Frank Zappa.

We witness the premier of claymation art by Bruce Bickford, an involvement Bickford would further with Zappa on the 1979 Baby Snakes project.

There is also a nice bonus feature of Zappa appearing on a 1976 Mike Douglas Show. Frank Zappa plugs in his guitar to play “Black Napkins” with the show’s house band. I am grateful for talk show host Mike Douglas support for rock  music in the 70s.

A must add to the Frank Zappa collection 😉

Santana Shape Shifter, May 15th on Starfaith Records

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Track Listing:
1. Shape Shifter
2. Dom
3. Nomad
4. Metatron
5. Angelica Faith
6. Never The Same Again
7. In The Light of a New Day
8. Spark of the Divine
9. Macumba in Budapest
10. Mr. Szabo
11. Eres La Luz
12. Canela
13. Ah, Sweet Dancer

LOS ANGELES, March 27, 2012 –/PRNewswire/ — Shape Shifter is Carlos Santana’s 36th album, and the first for his new label, Starfaith Records. Set for release May 15, the 13-song set is an instrumental tour de force featuring tracks spanning from the late 1990’s to the present.  It’s powered throughout by Carlos’ instantly recognizable virtuoso lead guitar and the Santana Band’s world-class musicianship (only one song features vocals from Santana’s lead vocalists Andy Vargas and Tony Lindsay).  Pre-sale of Shape Shifter begins today,March 27, at all major online outlets including iTunes, Amazon and more. Starfaith Records is distributed and marketed in conjunction with RED Distribution.

Carlos dedicated the album to Native American Indians, acknowledging Australia’s 2008 apology to the Aborigines, and President Obama’s signing of the 2009 Native American Apology Resolution. He says, “I encourage any and all countries (that have not as yet done so) to acknowledge the first people of their land, and make this a collective global effort.”

Shape Shifter comprises mostly original compositions that Carlos has been stashing away for such an instrumental project—long awaited by fans—and he conceived the album’s sequence as thoughtfully as its track selection. The songs flow together as the magical sustain of Carlos’ guitar—and the spirit behind every note—makes music that breaks through all cultural and language barriers, the music of Santana.

The title track opens the album, beginning as a mellow acoustic groove, with Carlos channeling Native American spirits through chanting.  The track builds to soaring heights—in addition to Carlos’ driving lead, the song features Dennis Chambers on drums, Chester Thompson on keyboards, and Benny Rietveld on bass (they are the musical foundation on many of the tracks).

Other highlights include a mid-tempo cover of Toure Kunda’s “Dom” —Carlos and the Toure brothers’ collaborations have also included “Africa Bamba” from the GRAMMY-winning album, Supernatural.  Angelica Faith, which Carlos co-wrote with Thompson, is a signature Santana ballad in the tradition of “Samba Pa Ti” and “Europa.”  With “Mr. Szabo,” Carlos pays homage to Gabor Szabo, whose music he brought to the fore in 1970, when he fused the Hungarian jazz guitarist and composer’s “Gypsy Queen” with Peter Green’s “Black Magic Woman” on Abraxas.

Collaborations include “Never the Same Again,” which Carlos wrote with producer Eric Bazilian, and “In the Light of a New Day,” which began as a demo that Narada Michael Walden shared with Carlos. “Spark of the Divine”—often played on tour to introduce songs including “Black Magic Woman”—leads in to “Macumba in Budapest,” the first of two songsCarlos co-wrote and produced with Walter Afanasieff—the song vamps into a classic Santana Latin jam featuring Raul Rekow on congas and Karl Perazzo on percussion. The second, “Eres La Luz,” the only track featuring vocals, highlights the irresistible Latin groove that embodies the world music essence of Santana.

Shape Shifter closes with two songs that are collaborations between Carlos and his son, musician Salvador Santana—who plays piano on both—including the rousing “Canela.” The final track, “Ah, Sweet Dancer,” is a song Carlos first heard in a taxicab in Germany—he tracked it down in a local record store and began performing it regularly on tour. The recording features only soulful solos from father and son, offering elegant closure to Shape Shifter.