Saturday, June 16, 2018

Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin - 1973-09-05 - Berkeley, CA

It goes to 11, Carlos

In the summer of 1973, Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin did a short tour to promote their new album Love Devotion Surrender, which was somewhere on the spectrum of spiritual jazz and guitar madness. Imagine if A Love Supreme had a supercharged rhythm section and a bunch of distortion pedals, and you're halfway there.

The album's aged pretty well, and sounds a lot better in the wake of stuff like Sonic Youth, Grand General and Rush's more guitar-heroic moments. But live they were a different beast. McLaughlin got Billy Cobham to join him - as I recall, Jan Hammer and company took a small vacation from the Mahavishnu's heavy touring schedule - while Santana brought over a few percussionists of his own. And Khalid Yasin, who used to play with McLaughlin in Tony Williams Emergency, came aboard to provide organ.

The shows are generally completely insane. Songs - most of them John Coltrane covers, with a few originals sprinkled in - go on for over 20 minutes, and there's guitar pryotechnics all over the place. Cobham drums like a man possessed and McLaughlin plays, as Frank Zappa once put it, like a machine gun, spraying notes with reckless abandon. Santana's guitar playing is as tasteful as ever, which is a nice balance against McLaughlin.

This show comes from a show in Berkeley, and has good (if occasionally distant) sound. I think it's a FM recording, but it could be a soundboard. Either way, turn it up and get lost in these two at their most expansive.


M. Milner said...

CS and JM - 1973-09-05 - Berkeley, CA

jim said...

Thanks, for all the great music. The dancing bear is cool!

Juby said...

Thanks for sharing this! I very much appreciate the music and your writing.

unitstructure said...

This is way better than their official recording which wasn't bad either.Khalid Yasin's keyboard playing is outstanding.Thank you.