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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



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SANTANA

Hymns for Peace

Eagle Vision EREDV 626

 

 

 



Disc1

1. Afro Blue
2. Adouma
3. Redemption Song
4. Exodus/ Get Up, Stand Up
5. Blowin' in the Wind/ A Place In The Sun
6. Just Like a Woman
7. What's Going On

Disc2

1. Peace On Earth/ Boogie Woman
2. Why Can't We Live Together?
3. Light At The Edge Of The World
4. Let Us Go into the House of the Lord
5. Banana Boat Song
6. Day Of Celebration
7. Ah Sweet Dancer/In a Silent Way
8. Jingo
9. A Love Supreme
10. Ode To Joy
11. One Love
12. Imagine
13. Give Peace A Chance
An Interview With Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana - Guitar, vocals, percussion
Jeff Cressman - Treombone
Bill Ortiz - Trumpet
Chester Thompson - Keyboards
Myron Dove - Guitar
Benny Rietveld - Bass
Dennis Chambers - Drums
Karl Perazzo - Percussion, timbales
Raul Rekow - Percussion, congas
Andy Vargas - Vocals, percussion
Ravi Coltrane, Wayne Shorter - Saxes
Chick Corea, Cherie Mitchell - Keyboards
Herbie Hancock - Piano
Salvador Santana - Keyboards, piano
John McLaughlin, Nile Rodgers - Guitar
Idrissa Diop - Percussion, vocals
Omar Hakim, Gerardo Velez - Percussion
Patti Austin, Barbara Morrison, Sylver Sharp, Sam Totah - Vocals
Angelique Kidjo - Vocals, percussion
 

In July 2004, Carlos Santana assembled a line-up of star musicians for a concert entitled "Hymns of Peace" at Montreux. The musicians included not only Santana's regular band but a wealth of guest artists. This double DVD records a magnificent concert where the intermixture of performers reflected the positive message of the evening.

The first DVD begins with Afro Blue, a tune which appropriately mixes jazz and salsa. There's a relaxed feeling to this opener, although some of the guest musicians look as if they are unsure what is going to happen.Wayne Shorter introduces the solos, followed by Chick Corea (an old hand at Latin jazz) on keyboards. Ravi Coltrane solos on soprano sax, with echoes of his father in his "sheets of sound". The fleet-fingered John McLaughlin solos next, followed by Herbie Hancock donating an adventurous solo which plays around with the chords and the shape of the tune. Finally Carlos Santana comes in to show why he is still a guitar hero.

The international atmosphere is heightened by the arrival of singer Angelique Kidjo for Adouma. Her African chant fits in perfectly with Santana's trademark Latin groove. A change of rhythm and style is signalled by the reggae beat of Bob Marley's Exodus and Get Up, Stand Up.

Vocalists Barbara Morrison, Patti Austn and Sylver Sharp join together for Bob Dylan's song Blowin' in the Wind, maintaining a hint of the reggae rhythm and ending with a gospel feel. Barbara Morrison does a solo vocal on Just Like a Woman - another Bob Dylan song - laid-back but punchy. The lady singers unite for Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, with impassioned underlining from Ravi Coltrane and Wayne Shorter.

The second disc opens with a pensive snatch of Peace on Earth before getting down and funky with Boogie Woman, on which Ravi does a honking rhythm-and-blues solo and Wayne Shorter makes his tenor sax screech. Steve Winwood comes in for Why Can't We Live Together?, singing and playing keyboards, with Ravi Coltrane in lyrical mood. Let Us Go Into the House of the Lord lets John McLaughlin display his guitar virtuosity - it is technoflash but sensitive with it. Carlos Santana's solo is equally brilliant technically but more extrovert.

The Banana Boat Song induces the audience to sing along. Day of Celebration starts gently with Carlos on acoustic guitar. Wayne Shorter contributes a melodic slolo which degenerates somewhat when he makes his soprano sax wail out as if in pain. Ah Sweet Dancer is a duet between Carlos and his son Salvador. The other musicians join in for In a Silent Way, led by Wayne Shorter on mystical soprano. Drummer Dennis Chambers is particularly impressive here, although his playing is superb throughout. His sheer stamina is awesome.

After the chanting of Jingo, Carlos asserts that "Peace is possible" and adds: "Let's show George Bush and his boys what we really got", introducing an inspiring version of John Coltrane's A Love Supreme. This sounds like the concert's big finish but there's more. A choir arrives to sing Beethoven's Ode to Joy - rather shrilly, but it's the thought that counts. And there is even more - three bonus tracks: One Love (another reggae outing), John Lennon's Imagine and Give Peace a Chance, all featuring the vocalists.

This massive concert sometimes has the ad hoc air of a jam session but it is full of peaceful spirit and the give-and-take which fine performers can exhibit. We can be grateful to Santana for organising the event - and for it being preserved on this memorable double DVD. Considering the variety of musicians and the conditions under which it was recoded, the sound quality is acceptable.

Tony Augarde

 



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