21
Sep
10

SANTANA-GUITAR HEAVEN-CD REVIEW-“MUSICIANSHIP IS HIGH”-BY JOHN EMMS

Taste is hard to define when it comes to drawing up a list of the greatest guitar songs of all time. Rolling Stone Magazine had their list and I did not agree with about 30 percent of that  list.  In fact it was ridiculous in places.

However, every musician knows when they are creating music that is special. On his new cd Guitar Heaven (The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time) Carlos Santana proves once again organic muscianship will always win out.

Santana’s guitar chops are intense and  at almost every turn his willingness to not only share the spotlight but to really get down and real with his players is what makes this album special.

What really shakes this set up is THE LEAD VOCALISTS and the Santana CORE BAND.  Scott Weiland is on fire on The Rolling Stones/Mick Taylor classic Can’t You Hear Me Knocking, Rob Thomas breathes new life into Cream’s Sunshine of Your Love,  Indie Arie gently mesmerizes the listener on George Harrison’s While My Gutar Gently Weeps, Scott Stapp rips through the CCR chestnut Fortunate Sun, while Pat Monahan absolutley owns the Van Halen classic Dance The Night Away

Naysayers will comment that Santana has worked with virtually everyone in the past 15 years, and some will agree they have a point.  Michelle Branch, Los Lonely Boys, Chad Kroeger, Steven Tyler, Joss Stone. This  list is huge. 

Fellow businessman/Chief  Creative Officer of Sony Music Entertainment and friend Clive Davis knows what sells. His track record is impressive to say the least. In fact, you can almost bet there will be a Guitar Heaven Part 2. 

But don’t let that stop you from checking out this album. THAT WOULD BE A MISTAKE. Santana’s lead work on Riders on the Storm,  Back In Black with rapper Nas and Harrison’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps is organic and exciting at his best and even when you know what he is going to do (Whole Lotta Love) it is is done with taste.

Stellar work from Santana’s entire band especially drummer Denis Chambers and bassist Benny Reitveld for laying out a wicked groove to every track on the set. Deluxe cd comes with a bonus dvd.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, radio show host    http://emms.podbean.com/  and musician.

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