Santana IV Reunion Update

It’s been an exciting month plus for the original members of Santana and longtime Santana fans.

Texas – March 19

The Santana IV Reunion “Live” commences in stages. Gregg Rolie joins Santana in Corpus Christie, Texas on March 19th. It serves as a dress rehearsal for the Santana Mexico concerts to follow.

Gregg and Carlos
Photo Copyright Libby Fabro

Mexico – March 

Santana reunion efforts began to further gel when Gregg goes on to perform with Carlos and the Band in Monterrey, MX, Cumbre Tajin Festival and at two special co-headline events with Journey in Guadalajara and Mexico City.

Videos of Gregg Rolie sitting in with Santana performing “Black Magic Woman” begin to surface on YouTube.

Things really get exciting when the original Santana nucleus expands when Journey and Santana co-headline. We see Neal Schon playing guitar with Carlos Santana set against the rhythmic backdrop of the Santana band.

Neal Schon has been the motivator pushing for the Santana reunion. I am thankful that he has been instrumental in driving Santana IV to that goal.

Neal, Gregg and Carlos Santana do the dynamic tracks from Santana III, “Batuka/No One To Depend On”, “Everybody’s Everything”. How cool is that?

Copyright Chad Tasky

The stage is set for completing the Santana IV recording in Las Vegas the next month. Can you say supercharged? I knew that you could 😉

The Santana Three
Photo Copyright Libby Fabro

Las Vegas – April 2015

The Santana IV Reunion scene shifts to Las Vegas, Nevada. The composition and recording of the final three tracks for the Santana IV recording enters high gear. The Santana IV recording team and studio musicians assemble at Odds On Records and Studios (Audio Mix House) in Henderson, Nevada. Michael Shrieve and Michael Carabello join Neal, Gregg and Carlos to put down the last tracks for Santana IV. They are joined by Benny Rietveld on bass and Karl Perazzo on percussion. Jim Reitzel, Head Engineer at Tarpan Studios mans the boards, coordinating the sounds Santana IV seeks to make. Jim has worked actively with Santana over the years. He becomes the glue to bond Santana IV together. I wonder if he will also be chiefly responsible for the mixing that follows next?

Photo courtesy of Benny Rietveld via Facebook
Copyright Chad Tasky

Neal Schon has been vocal about Santana IV touring live at some point in the future. Can wait to see Santana IV live!

I wonder what record label Santana IV will be released and distributed by. Who has the rights? SONY, Arista, or Starfish?

My hat is off to Santana IV!

Copyright Chad Tasky

Good things come to those who wait!

Special Mention

We are fortunate to have the camera team of Libby Fabro and Chad Tasky documenting the events. I think Libby Fabro is a photographer for Team Santana. Chad Tasky is a San Francisco based photographer and filmmaker. Chad was a drum tech for Santana for a time. Props to both photographers for being our inside image sources for Santana IV. Your respective photos are superb.

Armando Peraza Enters The Light

I was saddened to learn that Armando Peraza, legendary jazz percussionist and master conguero passed away yesterday. I loved his sense of timing in conjunction with his percussive knack.
Here he is performing “Armando’s Groove” with Karl Perazzo and Raul Rekow.
My greatest teacher/mentor/role model
Crossed over the other side tonight
He is now light only …no more in the body
He is free from gravity and time
Immortality is his playground Infinity is his domain
Thank you for all and everything
Dearest Armando Peraza
Be with GOD and the angels Dear one
Peace
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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.

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

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