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Caravanserai (1972)

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User Rating: 4 / 5 [ Add Your Rating ]

Name:  Juergen Martens <>
Rating:  4 / 5
Comments:  Carlos Santana's true achievement is proving that it is possible to run a decade-long successful career as a musician just with a trademark instrumental voice and a handful of eternally repeated licks. But with the improvement of his playing since the early days of Santana (where the better executed parts, llike in "Black Magic Woman", often were played by Neal Schon) and the dicovery of far-east-influenced spirituality, he managed to put his playing into very exciting new contexts in the mid 70's, style- and co-musician wise. For me, "Caravanserai" and its successor "Welcome" are the best Santana you can come across. Caranvanserai is a kind of mythical journey with many soundscapes highly reminiscent of early Weather Report. Keybordwise, the Rhodes don't play too much of a role on this one (that happened one record later - the beginning of the collaboration with Tom Coster), but heavy Hammond layers by Greg Rolie dominate the picture. (Note: I would have given it a full 5, but I'm allergic to all that mushmouthed indian-guru-bla-bla that "flavors" lyrics and liner notes - and it was to become even worse, see "Sri Chinmoy". Nuff said.)