DVD Reviews

Santana – Live at Montreux 2011 DVD Review

Released by: Eagle Rock Ent

Release Date: February 21st, 2012

Genre: Classic Rock/Fusion/Jazz

Links: http://www.santana.com/


Track Listing:

Disc 1:

1) Spark Of The Divine


3) Back In Black

4) Singing Winds, Crying Beasts

5) Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen

6) Oye Como Va

7) Maria Maria

8) Foo Foo

9) Corazon Espinado / Guajira

10) Benny & Cindy Solo

11) Jingo

12) Carlos Speaks / Novus

13) Europa (Earth’s Cry, Heaven’s Smile) / I Want You

14) Batuka / No One To Depend On


Disc 2:

1) Duende / Open Invitation

2) Make Somebody Happy / Right On Be Free

3) Evil Ways / A Love Supreme

4) Sunshine Of Your Love

5) Smooth / Dame Tu Amor

6) Soul Sacrifice / Dennis Drum Solo

7) Samba Pa Ti

8) Into The Night

9) Love, Peace And Happiness / Freedom


Legendary Rock Hall of Fame inductee Carlos Santana should be on anybody’s music top list as the greatest and most innovative guitar player that has ever lived. Santana has been rocking crowds since the late 60’s, getting his big break at the Fillmore’s West as a replacement guitar player.  After successes there, Santana formed the Santana Blues Band with the amazing bassit/keyboard player Gregg Rollie. This is where his sound took shape and gave birth to his own original blend of Latin-infused rock, jazz, blues, salsa, and African rhythms. When asked what kind of music he plays, his answer is always simply “African Music”.

One of his biggest breaks followed in the following years as the Santana band got a spot on the famous Woodstock Festival and drew even more critical acclaim to the band. As time evolved, Carlos saw continued success with top rated records like “Abraxas”, “Santana III” and “Caravanserai” in the 70’s.  The 80’s, however, did not garner nearly as much success for Carlos and company. It is evident, through their harder rock-laden tunes, that with a change of times and the hard rock flourish, the band struggled to find its own identity. It was a long road to a surprising revival of sorts for Santana when he teamed up with music mogul Clive Davis and seemingly over night brought Santana into the 21st century with the then super commercial hit record “Supernatural” featuring a myriad of guest musicians.

Carlos Santana’s soulful guitar playing which can clearly be traced to early influences like B.B King and Johnny Lee Hooker, perfectly melted his own fusion of classic rock into one of the most prestigious venues in the world, which is the Montreux Jazz Music Festival, hosting a number of legendary icons like Miles Davis and Bob Dylan. Having already appeared a number of times himself, Santana geared up his band alongside some special guests on this memorable night last summer in 2011 and performed a collection of his greatest hits throughout his career.

His band features some of the greatest and most talented instrumentalisst around the world with the likes of super percussionist Karl Perazzo, Raul Rekow handling the Congas, Dennis Chambers holding down the battery on drums, alongside the tag team of vocalists Tony Lindsay and Andy Vargas. On this special 2 DVD set from Eagle Rock Ent, Santana flares up the night with some of his classics the likes of “Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen”, which is always a fan favorite. An interesting cover of AC/DC’s Back in Black, the Supernatural cuts “Maria, Maria” and “Corazon Espinado” (a spanish lead vocals track which was another hit for Carlos on that record) show just how versatile Santana can be. The first disc closes in fine fashion with a radiant version of “Europa” (Earth’s Cry, Heaven’s Smile). The thing about Santana is he’s a totally different artist when it comes to vision, spirituality and connecting with the fans on that level. His music was always more about inspirations that brought a common message of peace, helping one another, and leaving a positive mark on  the listener for ages to come.

The second disc features more classics the likes of “Evil Ways”, “Soul Sacrifice” and a remake of Cream’s classic “Sunshine of your Love”.  It was nice to hear another oldie “Samba pa Ti” and conjure all the different elements of traditional African roots mixed with Afro/Cuban and jazz into this wonderful piece. This is where Santana truly shines and is able to connect all the dots which make his music so legendary and uncanny.

Santana ends the night with a message to all the fans and listeners, to make sure they make everyday their best day of their lives. For a man in his mid 60’s now, Carlos looks in fine shape; in fact, he has aged very gracefully. His guitar playing is as fluid and wondrous as ever, never using many synthesizers at all, he feels the music and does a wonderful job of leading all the amazing talent in his own band into one huge condensation of melting pots of flavor. I loved how his wife, Cindy Blackman Santana, makes a guest drum solo appearance and absolutely shines; I never knew she was a respectable drummer in her own right, so that was something very cool to see.

The DVD is shot in high definition and both the sound and video are super sharp and refined, a great job by Eagle to cover yet another classic icon like Santana making a memorable appearance on yet another year of Montreux. Some bonus features are the interviews by both Carlos and his wife and some behind the scenes footage as well. This is a wonderful concert experience and Carlos Santana integrates his multiple blend of rock/fusion into the crowd with wonderful rhythm and class, wearing all white with his trademark top hat and his Gibson custom guitars, all providing a beautification of his music through the years. A great treat in yet a long series of concert artists that have graced the stage in Geneva. Go check it out as you get plenty of bang for your buck here!!!


Written by Denys

Ratings    Denys    8/10

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