Lovers Lane
In The Flesh

Santana Minus Michelle Branch

| March 1, 2006

Santana III

Tidy two-disc pack adds three unissued studio recordings and full ’71 set from Fillmore West.

History will probably be kind to Santana. But for someone constantly ranked among rock guitar’s giants, he was always too conservative, all too willing to ply his wares as the Latin dude. Technically accomplished and as fluid a jazz melodicist this side of George Benson, he’ll forever come within a context — maybe the result of being a token minority in a predominantly white field — and his third album is the flagship of his repertoire. Augmented here by an Independence Day 1971 set closely following the album’s stage directions, Santana and band also tap into Miles Davis’ “In A Silent Way” as well as the now-obligatory nod to “Black Magic Woman.”

Actually, given the uniformity of the tunes on the album version of III, the Fillmore tracks become the more vital document, putting the Latino back in his element, where his powers are most pure.


— Steve Forstneger

Category: Spins, Weekly

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