Monday, August 17, 2015

Santana - 1997 The Best Instrumentals Vol. 1

Nice Compilation of A Master’s Work! Hat’s off to Sony for recognizing Santana’s outstanding guitar playing ability and for taking the time to sift through a decades worth of music to isolate these instrumentals. Included on this CD is a tune from Santana’s first release in 1969 “Soul Sacrifice”, the incomparable “Blues for Salvador” from his 1987 release of the same name as well as “Europa” from the Amigos album. Overall, it’s 71 minutes of great instrumentals that will save you countless hours of attempting to sort through this masters music just to isolate his instrumental works.

Just the music There are many great guitarists in the world but only Carlos Santana can move me like he does. Long ago I made my own version of this album on cassette because I wanted all these great instumentals on one tape. Finally it has been done and been done right. Europa is easily the best instrumental number ever and I would argue one of the best songs of all time. It is perfectly married with all the other great Santana numbers that were usually the best thing on their respective albums.Put this on, turn the lights down low and lose yourself in the music.

Picking out the best instrumentals from Carlos Santana's thirty-year recording career is a daunting task at best, and a fan can certainly find reasons to disagree with some of the choices made in this collection. However, this German release is valuable in bringing together undisputed Santana classic guitar pieces like "Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile)," "Samba Pa Ti," "Flor D'Luna (Moonflower)" and "Soul Sacrifice" with lesser known masterworks like "Aqua Marine" and the superb "Song of the Wind." True, there's no "Toussaint L'Ouverture" or "Incident at Neshabur," but how would you like to have to narrow this long-lived band's catalog down to fifteen tracks? Besides, the true fan already has the original albums and earlier compilations. One thing made obvious by this sampler of tracks recorded between 1969 and 1990 is that the later stuff with artificial keyboards, like "Love is You" and "Blues For Salvador" from the late '80s, just doesn't have as much soul as the earlier, more organic material. But that's a technological issue. This disc takes its listeners on a high intensity trip through time on the spiritual wings of Carlos Santana's soaring electric guitar. It's a trip worth taking.
Track Listing
  1. Samba Pa Ti
  2. Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile)
  3. I Love You Much Too Much
  4. Aqua Marine
  5. Bella
  6. Flor d'Luna (Moonflower)
  7. Life Is a Lady/Holiday
  8. Full Moon
  9. Song of the Wind
  10. Tales of Kilimanjaro
  11. Love Is You
  12. Guru's Song
  13. Treat
  14. Blues for Salvador
  15. Soul Sacrifice

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