The Magic of Santana is Europe’s premier Santana show, now featuring Original Members of Carlos Santana’s band. This show was the first Tony Lindsay, one of the two lead singers of present day Santana has ever performed with a Santana “tribute” band. More importantly it was the first time in over twenty years that Tony Lindsay and Alex Ligertwood have shared a stage together.
It was magical.
Alex Ligertwood was Lead Vocalist for Santana from 1979-1994. He has also performed with The Jeff Beck Group, Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express, the Average White Band, Narada Michael Walden, David Sancious, and others.
The Magic of Santana is also the first Santana “tribute” band Alex has ever performed with since leaving Carlos Santana in 1994.
Tony Lindsay is an 11x Grammy Winner and has been the Lead Vocalist for Santana since 1991. He has worked with Aretha Franklin, Teddy Pendergrass, Lou Rawls, Steve Winwood and Curtis Mayfield, and others.
Recorded LIVE at the Kurhaus, Bad Fallingbostel, Oct 13th, 2012.
Music is the form of expression which resides deep within our soul. Like John Lee Hooker always said, “The blues in you and its gotta come out”. Bill Ortiz’s latest recording, Highest Wish unearths our soul of musical expression through his unique spiritual healing voice.
Carlos Santana recently stated before a live audience, “Our highest wish is to touch your heart and remind you that you are significant.”
Bill Ortiz responds to that wish by creating spiritual voices through his gift, the trumpet, which resonates inside the music of our heart.
Highest Wish begins this welcome dialogue with the song, “Ha-Ya (Means Life)”. “Ha-Ya” is a spirited romp with vocals by Luqman Frank and Omega Rae who coax out just the right positive accenture from Bill Ortiz’s trumpet.
The song, “We Are What We Are” starts as a rap by Casual then effortlessly evolves into skin-deep jazzy, r&b rhythms. The interplay between Casual and Bill’s horn keeps us focused on the relevance of the lyrics. The message is we are the same affected by the agony and pain of social injustice.Luqman Frank and Femi Andredes lend vocal help to push that message along.
The track, “Highest Wish (Phoenix Black Mix)” featuring Zumbi of Zion I is a plaintive melody with the recognized wisps of a Carlos Santana guitar-lke ending.
“Since You’ve Been Gone” is a testament to a Mother’s memory. Lugman Frank invokes his best vocal groove on this number. He and Bill Ortiz become locked in a strong harmony. Together they ask her return to fill the void inside a son’s respectful heart.
“Winter In America” smartly acknowledges the Godfather of Hip-Hop, Gil Scott-Heron with lead vocalist Tony Lindsay (Santana) trading off lyrics with “The Grouch” on vocals and rap. The track is an ingenious remix that commences with Bill Ortiz’s horn compelling us to take heed and listen. The track is gutsy and edgy. It crystallizes our attention on what is really going on in the streets across America.
Rest in Peace, Gil-Scott
Without you the revolution would not
“I Still Believe” is another Phoenix Black remix of an inspirational track which features Linda Tillery invoking a charismatic spoken word rendition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech from Oslo, Norway (1964). Zumbi of Zion I complements and embellishes the spoken word with rapas the truth rings out a poetic wisdom that encircles every heart that listens with historic humility.
“Do Your Thing” is an Issac Hayes song originally found on the Shaft Soundtrack (1978) as a 19:24 minute opus.Bill Ortiz’s R&B cover flows smoothly through the co-operation of Santana veterans Tony Lindsay on vocals, Andy Vargas (samples/drums programming), Chester Thompson (C.T.) on organ and Bill Ortiz (trumpet, flugelhorn). I can visualize the camaraderie in the studio when this track was laid down. Listen as Tony excitedly sings, “C.T. play for me, C’mon” and does he ever 😉
This is my favorite track on Highest Wish due to the sizzle and infectious groove it achieves. Santana fans will gravitate to this track and it will help attract a new base of fans for Bill Ortiz. This is a good choice for radio play if singles are still a viable option in promoting an artist’s music.
“Don’t Make Me Wait” is a danceable soul ditty that will have you moving your shoulders and tapping your feet. Cait La Dee is the featured vocalist who livens it up and in turn is joined by K-Maxx with a soulful rap interplay. Bill plays his horn enthusiastically like a salt and pepper shaker seasoning the song which just the right flavah.
“Full Circle” the Andy Vargas remix takes us out. It is the perfect instrumental to end the recording as we sail into the night, more at peace than we began this sonic journey.
1. Shape Shifter
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
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 Shifterbegins 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.
Gil Scott-Heron is our greatest urban poet. His words take us beneath the veneer of society where subsistence merges to form a greater understanding. It is Winter in America, 2012.
Bill Ortiz‘s EP recording Winter In America is a heroic attempt that helps us to avoid despair. The music and the message push us safely back from the precipice of the winter of our discontent.
The opening track is an ingenious remix of Gil Scott-Heron’s “Winter In America”. It commences with Bill Ortiz’s horn compelling us to take heed and listen. The track is gutsy and edgy. It crystallizes our attention on what is really going on in the streets across America.
“Winter In America” smartly acknowledges the Godfather of Hip-Hop, Gil Scott-Heron with lead vocalist Tony Lindsay (Santana) trading off lyrics with “The Grouch” on vocals and rap.
Well they say it’s a cold world
But we got a cold play my man
Rest in Peace, Gil Scott
Without you the revolution would not
What makes this EP even more full circle is the track, “I Still Believe”, a Phoenix Black remix with the eloquent spoken word voice of Linda Tillery and “Zumbi” from Zion I accenting with spoken word/rap. “I Still Believe” contains excerpts from Rev. Martin Luther King’s Nobel Peace Prize speech in Oslo.
The co-operation of Gil Scott-Heron’s revolutionary spirit lives on in his recently published posthumous memoir, “A Last Holiday“. There is a chapter in the book which details the tour that Stevie Wonder and Gil Scott-Heron were on to together where they lobbied for a national holiday for the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Gil Scott-Heron draws the correlation between the assassination of John Lennon and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. two great men of peace struck down by violence. As I write this review we are on the edge of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and U.S. federal holiday. It just so happens that the Winter in America EP drops on Martin Luther King Day, January 16th, 2012 direct to fans.
Bill Ortiz states the purpose of this recording best when he says, “I try to bring all these elements of who I am musically into one voice.” You’ve done all that and more Bill with your fine achievement, Winter In America.
If you like rhythm and blues, switched up with horns and driving percussion I highly recommend the new single by Tony Lindsay entitled, Fun in the Sun. Tony’s smooth vocals are complemented by his infectious charm and enthusiasm.
Tony Lindsay has performed lead vocals with Santana for the past 20 years. When not touring with Santana, he sings for Spang-a-Lang, a local R&B/Jazz/Pop group he founded that has opened for several well-known acts, including Curtis Mayfield, Jr. Walker, Tower of Power, and Average White Band, to name a few. Tony is also a very talented song writer, composer and music arranger.