Carlos Santana & Mahavishnu John McLaughlin: Naima




Carlos Santana (acoustic guitar) and John McLaughlin (acoustic guitar)


Love, Devotion, Surrender (Columbia CK 63593)

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Carlos Santana (acoustic guitar), John McLaughlin (acoustic guitar).

Composed by John Coltrane


Recorded: New York, October 1972


Rating: 99/100 (learn more)

This lovely John Coltrane piece has been interpreted innumerable times. It is very difficult to come close to the brilliance of the original. The two attempts that come closest are both provided by string players. Mandolinist David Grisman's versions from several of his albums are highly recommended. I also favor McLaughlin's first recording of the piece which appeared on Love, Devotion, Surrender. McLaughlin was joined by rock guitar superstar Carlos Santana for this recording. Carlos was a rabid fan of McLaughlin and had started to dig what John's spiritual guru, the late Sri Chinmoy, was saying in those days. Whether you believe in gurus or not, there is no doubt the two players themselves were immersed in a spiritual vortex that saw Coltrane, Chinmoy and music itself at its very center. This performance is a devotional prayer without words. McLaughlin is the stronger player and the guide, but the interplay between the two is revelatory. (McLaughlin later also covered the tune on his Coltrane tribute album After The Rain.)

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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