Tag Archives: Dennis Chambers

Victory Is Won – Santana

The art of the instrumental can be powerfully felt through tight musicianship and coordinating playing. The instrumental track, “Victory is Won” highlights the drumming of Dennis Chambers (love the rolls at the end) along with how well Chester Thompson dances his fingers across his Hammond B3 organ. Carlos Santana tops things off with his glass slide technique down the neck of his Paul Reed Smith. Benny Rietveld plays bass. This four piece ensemble recorded many of the Shape Shifter album tracks together.

There are two ways I love to hear this instrumental performed. The first is to play the instrumental recording from the Santana Shaman audio compact disk.

The second way is live. My wife and I attended the November 1, 2005 Webcast Concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, in celebration of  the Santana album, All That I Am launch. It was an all star evening with special guests Robert Randolph and Anthony Hamilton who are on that album. Clive Davis was there sitting in the opera booth and we walked behind him when the crowd let out :)

We witnessed a great rendition of “Victory Is Won” as we stood very close to the stage that night. Trust me it was as cool as the video evidences.

 

 

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Santana Shape Shifter, May 15th on Starfaith Records

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Track Listing:
1. Shape Shifter
2. Dom
3. Nomad
4. Metatron
5. Angelica Faith
6. Never The Same Again
7. In The Light of a New Day
8. Spark of the Divine
9. Macumba in Budapest
10. Mr. Szabo
11. Eres La Luz
12. Canela
13. Ah, Sweet Dancer

LOS ANGELES, March 27, 2012 –/PRNewswire/ — Shape Shifter is Carlos Santana’s 36th album, and the first for his new label, Starfaith Records. Set for release May 15, the 13-song set is an instrumental tour de force featuring tracks spanning from the late 1990’s to the present.  It’s powered throughout by Carlos’ instantly recognizable virtuoso lead guitar and the Santana Band’s world-class musicianship (only one song features vocals from Santana’s lead vocalists Andy Vargas and Tony Lindsay).  Pre-sale of Shape Shifter begins today,March 27, at all major online outlets including iTunes, Amazon and more. Starfaith Records is distributed and marketed in conjunction with RED Distribution.

Carlos dedicated the album to Native American Indians, acknowledging Australia’s 2008 apology to the Aborigines, and President Obama’s signing of the 2009 Native American Apology Resolution. He says, “I encourage any and all countries (that have not as yet done so) to acknowledge the first people of their land, and make this a collective global effort.”

Shape Shifter comprises mostly original compositions that Carlos has been stashing away for such an instrumental project—long awaited by fans—and he conceived the album’s sequence as thoughtfully as its track selection. The songs flow together as the magical sustain of Carlos’ guitar—and the spirit behind every note—makes music that breaks through all cultural and language barriers, the music of Santana.

The title track opens the album, beginning as a mellow acoustic groove, with Carlos channeling Native American spirits through chanting.  The track builds to soaring heights—in addition to Carlos’ driving lead, the song features Dennis Chambers on drums, Chester Thompson on keyboards, and Benny Rietveld on bass (they are the musical foundation on many of the tracks).

Other highlights include a mid-tempo cover of Toure Kunda’s “Dom” —Carlos and the Toure brothers’ collaborations have also included “Africa Bamba” from the GRAMMY-winning album, Supernatural.  Angelica Faith, which Carlos co-wrote with Thompson, is a signature Santana ballad in the tradition of “Samba Pa Ti” and “Europa.”  With “Mr. Szabo,” Carlos pays homage to Gabor Szabo, whose music he brought to the fore in 1970, when he fused the Hungarian jazz guitarist and composer’s “Gypsy Queen” with Peter Green’s “Black Magic Woman” on Abraxas.

Collaborations include “Never the Same Again,” which Carlos wrote with producer Eric Bazilian, and “In the Light of a New Day,” which began as a demo that Narada Michael Walden shared with Carlos. “Spark of the Divine”—often played on tour to introduce songs including “Black Magic Woman”—leads in to “Macumba in Budapest,” the first of two songsCarlos co-wrote and produced with Walter Afanasieff—the song vamps into a classic Santana Latin jam featuring Raul Rekow on congas and Karl Perazzo on percussion. The second, “Eres La Luz,” the only track featuring vocals, highlights the irresistible Latin groove that embodies the world music essence of Santana.

Shape Shifter closes with two songs that are collaborations between Carlos and his son, musician Salvador Santana—who plays piano on both—including the rousing “Canela.” The final track, “Ah, Sweet Dancer,” is a song Carlos first heard in a taxicab in Germany—he tracked it down in a local record store and began performing it regularly on tour. The recording features only soulful solos from father and son, offering elegant closure to Shape Shifter.

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Invitation to Illumination – Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin

Cover of "Santana: Hymns For Peace - Live...
Cover via Amazon

An auspicious reunion, 40 years on, will be taking place at the 45th Montreux Jazz Festival tomorrow evening, July 1. The event is entitled Invitation to Illumination. The event stars Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin and features members of Santana and John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension band.

Invitation to Illumination
CARLOS SANTANA & JOHN MCLAUGHLIN
Featuring: Cindy Blackman Santana, Dennis Chambers, Etienne
Mbappé, Raul Rekow, Karl Perazzo & David K. Mathews

Cindy Blackman Santana will be representing the role of Tony Williams on the drums. Cindy has represented Tony Williams ably before in the Tony Williams Tribute Band, Spectrum Road.

We saw John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension last year at The Town Hall in NY City on November 13, 2010. John McLaughlin announced that night that he and Carlos would be playing and recording together in Europe in 2011. Invitation to Illumination is the live edition of that aspect of the promise fulfilled. It is my private hope that more recording time has been spent between Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin.

It would be a wonderful follow on to 1973’s Love, Devotion and Surrender.

I urge you to visit a Santana brother of mine, Pierrot’s Web site that is a labor of love to John McLaughlin and Carlos Santana’s collaboration. http://www.santana-mclaughlin-40th-lds-anniversary.com/#!

John McLaughlin and Carlos Santana have played the Montreux Jazz Festival before, once in 1993:

and again on July 15, 2004 as part of the all-star cavalcade known as Hymns For Peace.

Here are some photographs of the Invitation to Illumination rehearsal taken at Montreux’s Auditorium Stravinski today.

From the John McLaughlin Newsletter, June 2011

On July 1st, Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin will play together at the Montreux Jazz Festival. This “Invitation to Illumination” celebrates their 40 years of friendship.

” There are festivals, and there is Montreux. For me and hundreds of other musicians, Montreux is Claude Nobs. The great festival of Montreux came from  Claude’s passion for Jazz and Blues almost 45 years ago, and has grown from its humble origins to the greatest Jazz/Blues, R ‘n B, Soul, Pop and Rock Festival in the world. Of course we know that there is a fantastic team working with Claude, but Claude’s presence and personality are an integral part of the atmosphere of Montreux. I have a very close relationship with Claude and Montreux since I’ve been going there for the past 40 years!

Naturally enough, when I had the idea to make a 40 year (almost) reunion with my brother guitarist Carlos Santana, Claude was the first person I spoke to about this project, he loved the idea, and here we are 9 months later getting ready for a concert that I for one, will never forget. The concert is called ‘Invitation to Illumination’. To some people, this title probably sounds a relative to the name of our record together ‘Love Devotion & Surrender’.They’re right in the sense that both Carlos and I believe in humanity and its essential oneness. The recording 40 years ago, and the concert today, is a call to the light in people. Illumination is not some ‘pie in the sky’ hippy slogan. Illumination is something we all were born with, and will have for our entire lives. All it means is that a big light has been turned on in your mind and heart. What we see when this light is on, is that we truly are one human family. Further, not only are we one family, but we all live on this beautiful ship called Earth, and that we are getting to the point that if we do not take care of each other, we won’t have much of a ship anymore, and we have nowhere else to go.”

John McLaughlin

The Light at the Edge of the World Through Three Unique Lens

I visualize the light at the edge of the world through three unique lens. Light defines our greater purpose as we travel ever towards it.

Sunset Over Water - Belize City, Belize
Copyright Brian Lewis

 

The first unique lens reveals rich textures of sound swirling in depths of dimensionality. The origin of the light at the edge of the world is an exquisite, ethereal instrumental written and composed by jazz saxophonist, Pharoah Sanders. Santana put me on to this jazz composition when it was included on the Hymns for Peace DVD filmed at Montreux Jazz Festival in 2004.

The video clip features Salvador Santana on piano ably leading an eclectic quartet that features Ravi Coltrane on tenor sax, Benny Rietveld on bass and Dennis Chambers on the drums. Once you connect with this instrumental you will embark upon a special journey.

While the first lens is still open I share a complimentary video of a hoped for documentary about Pharaoh Sanders.

The second lens opens wider to introduce us to worldwide indigenous cultures that have been reported studied, photographed, filmed and documented by the provocative mind of anthropologist, ethnobotanist, Wade Davis.

“The measure of a society is not only what it does, but the quality of its aspirations. – Wade Davis”

Wade Davis authored a book The Light At The Edge Of the World, A Journey Through The Realm of Vanishing Cultures. I happen to own and treasure this book. Again a direct influence from Santana, from the bookshelf of Carlos Santana.

Wade Davis produced, wrote, and hosted Light at the Edge of the World, a four-hour ethnographic documentary series shot in Rapanui, Tahiti, the Marquesas, Nunavut, Greenland, Nepal, and Peru.

Wade Davis is someone you want to listen to speak as well as read his books, study his photographs. You will gain such an appreciation for the preservation of societies, languages, cultures when you listen to his passionate articulations.

Here is Wade Davis talk from TED Ideas Worth Spreading, be ready to deeply educated. altered and changed when you open your mind and heart to indigenous cultures and how we are all one.

The third lens opens to a 1971 movie entitled The Light At The Edge of the World, starring Kirk Douglas, Yul Brynner and Samantha Eggar. The movie is based on the adventure work by Jules Verne 1905, The Lighthouse at the End of the World.

I’ll leave the connecting of the dots to these three unique lens about The Light At The Edge of the World to your discretion. Feel free to leave a comment about this blog post and let us know what you see the dots connecting to and why ;)