Santana: Africa Calling
A beautiful mix of so many genres that African music inspired, and some equally vivacious and colourful music videos.
Exactly half a century after his debut, and his brilliant performance at Woodstock festival where he made a name for himself, Santana has once again turned to Africa, the original source of so many music genres. Indeed, let’s not forget that blues originated from slave songs and served as a foundation for jazz, rock and soul, among others. Produced by Rick Rubin, this album was almost entirely recorded in live conditions, without retouching and without a safety net, an exercise he’s particularly fond of. Not to mention the man’s love for improvisation, and his virtuosity allows him a great deal of audacity. Along with singer Buika and his wife Cindy Blackman on the drums, Santana once again blends the jazz he loves with the Latin rhythms and rock reflexes that live in him.
The first track on Africa Speaks serves as a perfect introduction to this celebration of sounds that seem straight out of the mists of time. His voice speaks more than it sings, and he promptly gets a response from his backing singers. Then the album suddenly becomes funkier, with titles like Oy Este Mi Canto or Yo Me Lo Merezco, and outright blazing on the tropical Breaking Down The Door with its blustering brass, reminding the listener that it only takes a few boat-rides to cross over from Africa to South America. If the main idea behind this project is to demonstrate that rock, soul, blues and jazz are but children of African music, the evidence is fairly conclusive. Every song and style blends together so perfectly, and invites us to let ourselves be carried away by the infectious warmth of this opus.
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