Review : Milagro - Santana
EwFar be it from me to call guitarist Carlos Santana's Milagro, mediocre; all I know is what I just read in the bio. To wit: This is the 20th Santana band album — and that's not counting seven solo projects. The band played at Woodstock (1969), the US Festival (1982), and Live Aid (1985). All but one of its albums went gold or platinum until 1981, then they stopped selling or something. Carlos himself has received 23 Playboy Readers' Poll awards and has been nominated for two Grammys. But he won only one. The newguys in his perpetual band have played with such rockin' dudes as Doc Severinsen and Marilyn McCoo, and count Desi Arnaz among their influences. Some band members have even played on Saturday Night Live and Soul Train. After 22 years with CBS/Sony Records, this is the group's first record for a brand new label. Hey, Carlos: Wanna guess why? C-...full text
RollingstonesAfter releasing his first twenty-six recordings on CBS/Sony, Carlos Santana begins a new phase of his career with Milagro, one of the finest sessions he's done. The album reaffirms Santana's position as the standard-bearer for fusion music.
Santana is the most successful practitioner of fusion because he understands the style not as a souped-up rock-jazz hybrid but as an embrace of musical pantheism. Elements of salsa, pop, blues, jazz, R&B, rock, world music and reggae work their way in and out of the arrangements on Milagro, due in no small part to the smarts of coproducer Chester Thompson, whose virtuoso keyboard work shares the soloing spotlight with Santana's guitar.
Santana's vision of fusion grew out of the same creative upheavals responsible for the social and political ferment of the Sixties and early Seventies. The difference between Santana and other guitarists, such as Alvin Lee, who first came to prominence as a result of the Woodstock documentary is that Santana never stopped considering his music an outgrowth of deeply held spiritual values....full text
ShoppingMSNSantana signed to Polydor in 1991 after 22 years with Columbia Records. On this label debut album, the band has been altered by official addition of frequent sideman Raul Rekow and Karl Perazzols, replacement of longtime percussionist Armando Peraza. But this septet is still led by Carlos Santana and keyboardist Chester Thompson, with Alex Ligertwood singing. The record has a somewhat elegiac tone, beginning with a stage introduction by the late promoter Bill Graham, who was Santana's mentor and unofficial manager, being dedicated to Graham and Miles Davis, who also had died since the last album, and featuring an excerpt from a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., solos taken from Davis and John Coltrane, and music written by Bob Marley, Coltrane, and Gil Evans. Despite the presence of all these heroic ghosts, however, Milagro is only an average Santana release, familiar-sounding but undistinguished, and it failed to arrest the band's commercial slide, becoming the first new Santana studio album not to crack the Top 100. ~ William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide...full text
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