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Exploring the Music of Carlos Santana

 Carlos Santana – Guitar – Born July 20, 1947


There are many distinctive guitarist, but for me there is none that’s more distinctive than the artist who celebrates his 68th birthday today, Carlos Santana.Carlos was born on July 20,1947, at Autlán de Navarro, Jalisco, Mexico.  I will have to admit that after Abraxas there were not many of Carlos’ album’s in my library until 2012’s release Shape Shifter..oh, there was The Santana Brothers, which by the way is a pretty good album But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t enjoyed his music through the years. I liked Supernatural and other albums that I heard on the radio!

You know that I wrote about the death of John Coltrane earlier in the week, a couple of days before his real death date of July 17th. But I was surprised although, maybe I shouldn’t have been considering the jazz influences on Carlos’ music, when I read this quote at Carlos’ website this morning:

John Coltrane is the greatest musician of this century. He said, “One positive thought creates millions of positive vibrations,” and that is a philosophy I hold close to my heart. His gift is directly from the mind of God and is very powerful. The first time I heard “A Love Supreme,” it was really an assault on my senses, and it forever changed music for so many. This timeless song, and many others, were written in the Coltrane Home in Dix Hills, NY where John & Alice Turiya Coltrane lived. John Coltrane is a universal treasure, and the Coltrane home is a beacon to Coltrane lovers, jazz fans and people interested in musical history. I invite you to listen to the music of John Coltrane, open up your heart and your mind to the musical language he created, and visit the home where the universal tone was created.
– Carlos Santana

I listened to Caravanserai Santana’s 1972 release which has several instrumental tracks and I really enjoyed the album. I didn’t care too much for the vocals on the album, but it definitely deserves more listens. I’m listening now to Carlos and Wayne ShorterLive at the 1988 Montreux Jazz Festival and it’s really good and may become a work background music album!! On his website, Carlos notes his support for funding of the documentary of Zero Gravity about the life and music of Wayne Shorter. If you want to find out more about the documentary or make a pledge go to or Campaign for Wayne Shorter: ZERO GRAVITY Documentary. If you’re a jazz fan it’s certainly a worthwhile campaign!

So let’s celebrate Carlos Santana’s birthday with a video that showcases Carlos’ great guitar work and the blending of jazz, blues and rock as Carlos joins Buddy Guy for a little “Stormy Monday”.Happy Birthday Carlos!!


2015 Update: I am listening now to Corazon, Carlos’ 2014 release, 42 years after the release of Caravanserai and the man and the band are still going strong! Right now,  Santana is on the Corazon Tour in Italy. The band will be playing Carlos’ birthday concert in Verona tonight! Carlos Santana and the band will be in Atlantic City at the Borgota on Aug 21& 22nd and in Holmdel, NJ on the 23rd!!