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A Santana recommendation depends on what tracks of Supernatural and Shaman you liked. Some tracks showcase his unique classic bluesy guitar playing and others are "contemporary pop" with his unique stylistic overlay. Which ones moved you most? It's hard to offer a helpful or like-styled Santana recommendation unless you can tell us which tunes you liked. Consequently, I'm sure the Audigon Community can make more specific Santana recommendations. At the moment, everyone is nominating their own favorites... and most are excellent.
FYI, Santana's career can be organized into these broad musical "periods":
"Golden Period-Big 3 Classics"
Santana 3 (1971)
Santana & Buddy Miles (1972)-Forgetable live jam music
"Jazz-Fusion" -Exquisite jazz-rock-latin fusion
Love-Devotion-Surrender-w/John McLaughlin (1972)
Welcome (1973)- Ultimate latin-rock-jazz-funk fusion!
Lotus (1974)-Live from Japan tour
"Back to roots latin-rock & Blues"
Moonflower (1977)- Live "classics" and pop/rock studio tunes
"Uneven Period w/occasional brilliance"
Inner Secrets (1978)- It hurts to hear this one.
Marathon (1979)- New Age
Blues for Salvadore (1987)-Great blues playing!
Viva Santana (1988)-Retrospective w/unreleased rarities
Beyond Appearences (1990)
Sacred Fire (1993)-Live rendition of his "classics"
Supernatural (1999)-Back in the public view
Shaman (2002)- 2nd Ed of Supernatural formula
Regardless, Carlos Santana deserves to be mentioned among the great musical stylists - two notes and you KNOW it's Santana because no one else plays or sounds like him. See Amazon.com for comments about each release.
Thank you jwong.
On the Supernatural CD the cuts I liked most included:
Da Le Yaleo
On Shaman I most liked:
Aye Aye Aye
It seems that these are all more blues/jazz influenced than many of the other tracks. What I particularly like are the moving (to me) parts where his guitar sings, as in the very beginning of Da Le Yaleo or throughout Adouma. Of the above, I particularly love The Calling instrumentals of Clapton and Santana, each playing off the other at the beginning few minutes of that track. I liked the jazzy latin sound of his guitar in Africa Bamba.
On "Santana 3" the guitar work is fairly evenly split with Carlos usually soloing first. Along with "Welcome", "3" is my favorite Santana album. My favorite solo is from "Yours Is the Light" on "Welcome".
I'm glad people are commenting about Santana's blues influences. On his debut album it's very obvious that he had listened to a lot of Michael Bloomfield and he has mentioned repeatedly that Otis Rush is one of his guitar heroes.
In a radio interview someone asked Carlos why his guitar solos are so similar to one another, he replied "I want my mother to recognize me when they play me on the radio".
Since starting this thread, I've purchased Welcome, Abraxis and Blues for Salvador - they were all on sale for $9 canadian. (Santana 3 wasn't available.) Of these, I most enjoyed Blues for Salvador. It's exactly what I wanted at this time --- great featured playing by Santana and high energy (especially the title cut). Of course, the other two cds are also very enjoyable. I look forward to Santana 3 when I can find it.
Thanks to all for your suggestions.
Great Post! Coulnd't agree more with "all of the above". Yet, he continues to evolve. I loved his newest CD with all the young artists, the passion was just so alive. Especially the cut with Michelle Branch, his solo is...well you know. There's an older album, I think it was Live in El Salvador, awsome work with a couple ofnew pieces on it at the time. You can't take it out of the political context in which it developed, the 80's, Regans dirty little illegal war in So. America etc. (oooops, now I've done it, went an gone political).