Santana III -- Legacy Edition

His modern-day Michelle Branch dalliances aside, Carlos Santana's eponymous late-'60s SF crew is, after the Dead, the Bay Area's historically best-known band, having set the world afire (with actual radio hits) via a then-unparalleled combination of rock, blues, R&B/soul, jazz, and Latin aspects. Remastered, 1971's Santana III presents the original band at its zenith (personnel and stylistic changes occurred soon after), passionately integrating multiple influences and interests. How many bands -- then or now -- could transition from the sultry, bluesy-psychedelic "Taboo" to the fiery improvisations of "Jungle Strut" to the Afro-Cuban undertones within the James Brown funk of "Everybody's Everything"? Santana's guitar (both inspired and restrained) is searing throughout, and there's plenty of Gregg Rollie's opulently rich Hammond organ to mingle with the dazzling, exultant rhythms that just do not quit for a moment. This reissue includes a second disc of 1971 performances from the Fillmore, highlighted by a majestic "Incident at Neshabur" and a prescient cover choice: Miles Davis' "In a Silent Way," where a fire-spitting Carlos gets in touch with his inner Coltrane.

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