Santana: Incident at Neshabur (live, 1973)


Incident at Neshabur (live, 1973)


Carlos Santana (guitar)


Lotus (Columbia C2K 46764)

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Carlos Santana (guitar),

Leon Thomas (vocals), Richard Kermode (keyboards), Doug Rauch (bass), Michael Shrieve (drums), Armando Peraza, Jose Areas (percussion)


Composed by A. Gianquinto & C. Santana


Recorded: live in Osaka, Japan, July 1973


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

This album's Buddha artwork cover reflects Santana's immersion into what was then for him a new spiritual life. At the time, his friendship with John McLaughlin was leading him and his music in that direction. Both men considered spirituality and music to be one and the same. A month after this concert, Santana was on the road with McLaughlin, supporting their album Love Devotion Surrender.

"Incident at Neshabur" first appeared on Santana's 1970 album Abraxas, but this treatment is more jazz-fusion in character. It begins the way any Santana jam did back then. Ingratiating Latin-tinged guitar and organ riffs propelled by Latin percussion dominate the introduction. Kermode plays a pleasing and familiar Santana-band trademark B-3 organ solo, after which things get more interesting. Santana's new jazzier and more technical musical personality emerges. The commercial hooks are dispensed with. He is effusive, tossing in quotes from "My Favorite Things" and "Afro Blue" as nods to Coltrane. The Japanese fans evidently have no clue. When he quotes the Beatles' "Fool on the Hill" a few minutes later, however, in a beautifully quiet section, they erupt into applause. (The fans, not the Beatles.) For the tune's coda, Santana plays the theme from the beautiful traditional hymn "Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord," which appeared on Love Devotion Surrender. Lotus is a very successful album that marked the transition of a musician. "Incident at Neshabur" is its apex.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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