Santana: Promise of a Fisherman


Promise of a Fisherman




Borboletta (Columbia CK 33135)

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Carlos Santana (guitar, vocals),

Flora Purim (vocals), Jules Broussard (soprano sax), Tom Coster (keyboards), Stanley Clarke (bass), Airto Moreira (drums, vocals), Armando Peraza (congas, bongos)


Composed by Dorival Caymmi


Recorded: date unknown; released October 1974


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

The Dorival Caymmi-penned "Promise of a Fisherman" is Borboletta's best cut. Its main theme is strong enough to allow the players to reference it thoroughly during solo turns. The tune combines Santana's two musical worlds. In one, the rhythm is pure Santana pop band. Percussionist Armando Peraza never lets Santana down. His congas and bongos are as much a trademark sound of Santana's music as Santana's own guitar playing. The great bassist Stanley Clarke gets busy in the role of Santana's usual partner Doug Rauch. Tom Coster provides the ever-constant organ that was always so much a part of Santana's music as well.

In Santana's other world, the composition is pure fusion anthem material. (Can fusion be pure?) Santana eschews his straight-ahead rock style for his balls-out, shooting-bullets fusion mode. The man takes no prisoners. At one point the notes are so fiery and high-velocity that the engineer decides they must be divided into two channels. The panning effect leaves your head spinning. The advertised vocals are nothing more than a couple of seconds of distantly heard whimpering. This is a good thing, since much of the album is marred by unsuccessful vocal efforts. This reality falls conveniently into my axiom that 99% of fusion vocals do not work. Santana is not alone in his blazing playing. Coster has a ton of jazz chops to offer, and Clarke always hooks into a groove. "Promise of a Fisherman" delivers us full nets.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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  • 1 Rayne Bick // Mar 02, 2009 at 11:48 PM
    It would be really nice to know the main melody of the song, not the minor sounding part but the parts before and after that.