Concert Review: Santana and Rod Stewart, Mohegan Sun, May 25, 2014

The last time I saw Santana live was during their co-headliner tour with the Allman Bros. in July of 2012. The band’s trend of co-headlining East Coast concerts continues this year with Santana teaming up with Rod Stewart.

I go way back in concert with each of these legendary artists. I first caught Rod Stewart as lead vocalist with the Jeff Beck Group at the Fillmore East on July 3, 1969. I then saw Santana for the first time live the following year, November 14, 1970 at the Capitol Theatre in Portchester, New York. What’s interesting about both artists is that there was a significant gap in time before I saw either of them again. I re engaged with Santana in August of 2002 (a 32 year gap). I have since seen Santana perform live an extra 19 times (21 Santana concerts in 44 years, 20 of those shows in the past 12 years). I had not seen Rod Stewart perform in 45 years. So let’s do the time warp again ūüėČ

The concert was billed as The Voice, The Guitar and The Songs, Rod Stewart, Santana. The Santana band was the opening act. It’s important to note that this is not the Santana¬†Corazon¬†Tour. If you look at the Santana.com Website you will notice that the Santana Tour dates reflect two different tours, the dates with Rod Stewart and the Corazon Tour.


GALAXY DANCE INTRO
1. TOUSSAINT L’OUVERTURE
2. HOPE YOUR FEELING BETTER
3. BLACK MAGIC WOMAN / GYPSY QUEEN
4. OYE COMO VA
5. MARIA MARIA
6. FOO FOO
7. *CORAZON ESPINADO-(CINDY & BENNY SOLO)
8. JINGO
9. SACALO
10. SAJA/ RIGHT ON/ UMI SAYS
11. SMOOTH/ DAME TU AMOR

*W/ CINDY BLACKMAN-SANTANA

 

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The only time I’m happy’s when I play my guitar

Jack Bruce is a natural craftsman. He continues to hone the craft of the bass guitar finding creative ways to play and use the 12 notes we have available.

I flash upon the Cream song from¬†Fresh Cream (1966), N.S.U. that has the line, “The only time I’m happy’s when I play my guitar”. I can feel that sentiment running across the smile of Jack Bruce.

Bass Guitar Magazine celebrated their 100th issue with Jack Bruce on the cover recently (There’s that smile again). I downloaded the back issue on to my Apple iPad Air. The article “Just Jack” contains a chat about his new album.

Silver Rails РDrops on March 24, 2014, Label: Esoteric Antenna

The Special Edition features two disk Audio CDs and a DVD that shows the recording of Silver Rails at Abbey Road Studios. Silver Rails is available for preorder here.

Silver Rails is a warm collection of carefully crafted songs written in partnership with lyricists Pete Brown, Kip Hanrahan and Margrit Seyffer.

Jack Bruce collaborates with the following musicians on this album: Phil Manzanera, Robin Trower, Bernie Marsden, Uli Jon Roth, John Medeski, Malcolm Bruce and Cindy Blackman Santana.

Tracklisting:

Candlelight
Reach for the Night
Fields of Forever
Hidden Cities
Don’t Look Now
Rusty Lady
Industrial Child
Drone
Keep it Down
No Surrender

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Jack Bruce – Silver Rails

Jack Bruce is working on his first studio album in nine years. It is now in the writing and recording stage. Jack’s new album, Silver Rails is due to be released at the beginning of March 2014.

Silver Rails is being recorded at Abbey Road Studios featuring contributions from drummer Cindy Blackman Santana and keyboardist John Medeski. Bruce, Blackman Santana and Medeski, along with Vernon Reid of Living Colour recorded a jazz fusion album under the name Spectrum Road in June 2012. I wrote about this recording/touring nucleus in 2102 here.

Invitation to Illumination – Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin

Cover of "Santana: Hymns For Peace - Live...
Cover via Amazon

An auspicious reunion, 40 years on, will be taking place at the 45th Montreux Jazz Festival tomorrow evening, July 1. The event is entitled Invitation to Illumination. The event stars Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin and features members of Santana and John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension band.

Invitation to Illumination
CARLOS SANTANA & JOHN MCLAUGHLIN
Featuring: Cindy Blackman Santana, Dennis Chambers, Etienne
Mbappé, Raul Rekow, Karl Perazzo & David K. Mathews

Cindy Blackman Santana will be representing the role of Tony Williams on the drums. Cindy has represented Tony Williams ably before in the Tony Williams Tribute Band, Spectrum Road.

We saw John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension last year at The Town Hall in NY City on November 13, 2010. John McLaughlin announced that night that he and Carlos would be playing and recording together in Europe in 2011. Invitation to Illumination is the live edition of that aspect of the promise fulfilled. It is my private hope that more recording time has been spent between Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin.

It would be a wonderful follow on to 1973’s Love, Devotion and Surrender.

I urge you to visit a Santana brother of mine, Pierrot’s Web site that is a labor of love to John McLaughlin and Carlos Santana’s collaboration.¬†http://www.santana-mclaughlin-40th-lds-anniversary.com/#!

John McLaughlin and Carlos Santana have played the Montreux Jazz Festival before, once in 1993:

and again on July 15, 2004 as part of the all-star cavalcade known as Hymns For Peace.

Here are some photographs of the Invitation to Illumination¬†rehearsal taken at Montreux’s Auditorium Stravinski today.

From the John McLaughlin Newsletter, June 2011

On July 1st, Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin will play together at the Montreux Jazz Festival. This “Invitation to Illumination” celebrates their 40 years of friendship.

” There are festivals, and there is Montreux. For me and hundreds of other musicians, Montreux is Claude Nobs. The great festival of Montreux came from¬† Claude’s passion for Jazz and Blues almost 45 years ago, and has grown from its humble origins to the greatest Jazz/Blues, R ‘n B, Soul, Pop and Rock Festival in the world. Of course we know that there is a fantastic team working with Claude, but Claude’s presence and personality are an integral part of the atmosphere of Montreux. I have a very close relationship with Claude and Montreux since I’ve been going there for the past 40 years!

Naturally enough, when I had the idea to make a 40 year (almost) reunion with my brother guitarist Carlos Santana, Claude was the first person I spoke to about this project, he loved the idea, and here we are 9 months later getting ready for a concert that I for one, will never forget. The concert is called ‘Invitation to Illumination’. To some people, this title probably sounds a relative to the name of our record together ‘Love Devotion & Surrender’.They’re right in the sense that both Carlos and I believe in humanity and its essential oneness. The recording 40 years ago, and the concert today, is a call to the light in people. Illumination is not some ‘pie in the sky’ hippy slogan. Illumination is something we all were born with, and will have for our entire lives. All it means is that a big light has been turned on in your mind and heart. What we see when this light is on, is that we truly are one human family. Further, not only are we one family, but we all live on this beautiful ship called Earth, and that we are getting to the point that if we do not take care of each other, we won’t have much of a ship anymore, and we have nowhere else to go.”

John McLaughlin