Santana Shape Shifter Radio Interviews

Santana released Shape Shifter on Tuesday May 15.  It has been warmly received by fans and the media alike.

There are a couple of radio interviews that Carlos Santana has done in conjunction with Shape Shifter that are very insightful and informative that you will want to hear.

The first radio interview took place with Native America Calling on April 26, 2012.  The download of that show, “A Tribute To Tribal Nations” can be heard here: http://www.nativeamericacalling.com/ram/2012/apr/042612.m3u

Native America Calling is a live call-in program linking public radio stations, the Internet and listeners together in a thought-provoking national conversation about issues specific to Native communities. Each program engages noted guests and experts with callers throughout the United States and is designed to improve the quality of life for Native Americans. Native America Calling is heard on 52 stations in the United States and in Canada by approximately 500,000 listeners each week.

The second Santana Shape Shifter radio interview took place on Wednesday May 16, 2012 on Rockline.

You can replay the Rockline Show here: http://www.rocklineradio.com/replay/replay.php

Enjoy and Viva Santana!

Santana Album Art and Artists

I have really come to appreciate the depth and vision of the artwork that Carlos Santana chooses for his album covers. This blog post is dedicated to the visual artists and painters who have created truly memorable Santana art.

I begin with the Santana album by Fillmore West poster artist Lee Conklin, my favorite album cover of all 37 Santana album covers.

I was further blown away by the art of Mati Klarwein whose art became the cover for the second Santana album, Abraxas.

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We then jump ahead in time to my favorite of all the visual artists, Michael Rios who has designed five Santana album covers, but is best known for the art for Supernatural.

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I am very taken with the artwork by Rudy Gutierrez that became the cover for Shaman.

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The cover art of Shape Shifter was created by famed Comanche artist Rance Hood.  Rance Hood is one of the few Native American artists who still paints in the manner which echoes the traditional Indian culture and spirituality of the past.  His themes are mystical, spiritual, developing his work through the customs and religious practices which were passed down to him.

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Love The New Santana Shape Shifter Recording!

I am delighted with the new Santana recording, Shape Shifter. I have listened to it several times today on Spotify, first the Carlos Santana track by track commentary edition then the full recording.

It’s such a treat to finally have Shape Shifter available after all these years of anticipation.

I will be publishing a more comprehensive album review along with other thoughts and interpretations later this week.

Here is the back cover of the Shape Shifter CD which lists the tracks and provides Carlos’s heartfelt message that we should all honor and respect the indigenous people of all nations.

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.

Significant Santana News to Share

I am happy to share with readers of this music blog there is major activity to report from the Santana camp.

The first news item is that Santana has signed a two-year run of unique performances at the House of Blues in Las Vegas. The host property will be the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Las Vegas Boulevard South. The show is called, An Intimate Evening with Santana: Greatest Hits Live — Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

House of Blues Las Vegas has been specially reconfigured for the special Santana show. Fans within a few feet of Carlos can select from several intimate locations within the venue, from a limited number of exclusive VIP packages including meet and greets, limited edition photos, specialty dining/beverage packages and stage-side specialty dining.

The two-year residency kicks off on May 2 with a series of shows taking place throughout the months of May & June. The residency will then resume in September and play through 2013.

We saw the first rock ‘n’ roll resident show, Supernatural Santana, A Trip Through The Hits several times during its two-year run at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. They were delightful, memorable evenings for us. We are curious how the shows will differ at the House of Blues venue. Perhaps there is another Santana Las Vegas trip in our future 😉

The second news item to share is that Santana will finally be releasing the album, Shape Shifter sometime in May.  It features one song with vocals and then all the rest are spiritual instrumentals. According to a recent interview Carlos conducted with MusicRadar.com he describes Shape Shifter like this:

It’s not one of those guest-vocalist kinds of records. So people will get to hear Carlos Santana all by himself!

The record is basically directed to honor the American Indians. As you know, the people in New Zealand collectively agreed to give an apology to the Aborigines in Australia, and for me, whatever we do here in America to honor the American Indians, the Chinese, African-Americans and everybody else is a big step. So I created a CD, Shape Shifter, and it’s dedicated to the American Indians.

The third new item to report is that the DVD and Blue ray edition of Santana Greatest Hits Live at Montreux 2011 is now available for order. It is a three-hour concert filmed at the historic Montreux Jazz Festival. You may have seen the PBS Special that has some of this concert when it aired in December 2011.

The fourth news item is not substantiated by Santana management yet. It appears that Santana will be touring the East Coast of the United States in the July/August time frame. No venues are announced yet but Santana usually plays Mohegan Sun Casino Arena and/or the Oakdale Theater (or whatever they are calling it these days…) in Wallingford so we have our fingers crossed for a live Santana show near us in Connecticut this summer. 🙂

So how’s that for some great Santana news everyone? Viva Santana!