Carlos Santana: Swapan Tari


Swapan Tari


Carlos Santana (guitar)


The Swing of Delight (Columbia CK 36590)

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Carlos Santana (guitar),

Russell Tubbs (sax), Herbie Hancock (keyboards), David Margen (bass), Tony Williams (drums), Armando Peraza, Raul Rekow, Orestes Vilato (percussion)


Composed by Sri Chinmoy


Recorded: San Francisco, CA, 1980


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

The Swing of Delight was one of the fusion albums rock superstar Carlos Santana recorded back in the days when he was known as Devadip Carlos Santana. He surrounded himself with such jazz luminaries as Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock and Tony Williams. Jazz fans tended to like these albums. His record label and legions of his rock fans did not. Santana's fusion records still sold well for fusion records. But compared to the multimillions his rock albums sold, it was no contest.

"Swapan Tari," which translates to "dreamboat" from Bengalese, is a hard-driving jazz-rock anthem that devolves into a straight-ahead blues-rock jam that has Santana wailing away. Hancock mostly supports while Tony Williams supplies a strong backbeat. A little Stevie Wonder funk finds it way into the mix before the tune goes cosmic. Tubbs's reverberating sax solo postulates there is sound in the vacuum of space. Tubbs restates the theme, which is an open invitation to the rest of the band to bring this thing back to earth.

The composing credit for "Swapan Tari" goes to Sri Chinmoy, Santana's spiritual advisor and also the man responsible for giving him the extra first name "Devadip," which meant "light of God." Chinmoy wrote the original melody several years before. Santana added some new lines and extra melodies, increased the tempo and jazzed it up. Much of the chordal and harmonic structure was arranged by Russell Tubbs.

Jazz and fusion fans liked this side of Santana. Meanwhile, many others who had followed his pop-rock career considered this music to be an act of heresy. Over the years, Santana has smartly segregated these two groups by releasing material suitable for both.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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