Santana

The Best Instrumentals

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Picking out the best instrumentals from Carlos Santana's thirty-year recording career is a daunting task at best, and a fan can certainly find reasons to disagree with some of the choices made in this collection. However, this German release is valuable in bringing together undisputed Santana classic guitar pieces like "Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile)," "Samba Pa Ti," "Flor D'Luna (Moonflower)" and "Soul Sacrifice" with lesser known masterworks like "Aqua Marine" and the superb "Song of the Wind." True, there's no "Toussaint L'Ouverture" or "Incident at Neshabur," but how would you like to have to narrow this long-lived band's catalog down to fifteen tracks? Besides, the true fan already has the original albums and earlier compilations. One thing made obvious by this sampler of tracks recorded between 1969 and 1990 is that the later stuff with artificial keyboards, like "Love is You" and "Blues For Salvador" from the late '80s, just doesn't have as much soul as the earlier, more organic material. But that's a technological issue. This disc takes its listeners on a high intensity trip through time on the spiritual wings of Carlos Santana's soaring electric guitar. It's a trip worth taking.

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