More than 30 years into his career, nine Grammys, and dozens of tours, 55-yearold Carlos Santana’s music continues to evolve, and he’s bringing another generation along for the ride. But how do you do better than Abraxas or Supernatural? “Like wine, you ferment, and you become better. And like charcoal, after pressure you become a diamond,” Santana once told an inten,riewer. “My sound has gotten better. My ideas have gotten better.”
Like Santana’s previous albums, Shaman features a range of artists: Dido, Seal, Placido Domingo, Melkie Jean, Ozomatli, Govner Washington, P.O.D. (Payable on Death), Musiq, Argentinean success Alejandro Lerner, and Nickelback lead singer Chad Kroeger. Alongside Santana’s guitar work, the artists birth a new sound that transcends cultural, musical, and generational barriers.
“Since Supernatural” grooves to a hip-hop beat, while the lovely Latin melody of “Novus” combines Placido Domingo’s distinctive tenor with Santana’s classic sound. “You Are My Kind,” “Ave, Aye, Aye,” and “Amore” are more seductive and sensual, and the bluesy, laid-back “Sideways” features the often underrated but vocally romantic Citizen Cope. The Afro-Latin groove on “Foo Foo” is a cheerful, proud display of talent for Santana’s keyboard player Chester Thompson, bassist Benny Rietveld, percussionist Karl Perazzo, trombonist Jeff Cressman, drummer Dennis Chambers, conga player Raul Rekow, vocalists Tony Lindsay and Andy Vargas, and trumpeter Bill Ortiz.
Each track on Shaman offers a captivating rhythm, sweet melody, and spiritually moving lyrics. And, as in Supernatural, generations of artists are embracing and spreading a spiritual message alongside Santana. Shaman is not just about sounding good; from artist Rudy Gutierrez’s vibrant cover artwork to the compassionate lyrics of “Hoy Es Adios,” Shaman is about healing, which is what the power of music is all about.
Copyright Sojourners Jan/Feb 2003
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