Carlos Santana’s 36th album is an almost all-instrumental project called Shapeshifter, to be issued May 15 on his new label Starfaith Records. You can preorder the album below, and also check out the artwork and complete track listing.
Since Santana emerged from the Bay Area music scene in the 1960s, the group has sold more than 100 million records, eventually earning induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This new project, recorded between the late 1990s and today, features Santana’s instantly recognizable lead guitar on 12 of its 13 tracks. Santana says he’s been stashing away the tunes, and working on the album’s sequencing for more than a decade. Most of Shapeshifter, features a backing band of Dennis Chambers on drums, Chester Thompson on keyboards, and Benny Rietveld on bass. Appearing on “Eres La Luz,” the lone vocal track, are Santana band singers Andy Vargas and Tony Lindsay.
Album highlights include “Angelica Faith,” which Carlos co-wrote with Thompson, a signature Santana ballad in the tradition of “Samba Pa Ti” and “Europa.” With “Mr. Szabo,” Carlos again pays homage to Gabor Szabo, whose music he brought to the fore in 1970, when he fused the Hungarian jazz guitarist and composer’s “Gypsy Queen” with Peter Green’s “Black Magic Woman” on Abraxas. Collaborations include “Never the Same Again,” which Carlos wrote with producer Eric Bazilian, and “In the Light of a New Day,” which began as a demo that Narada Michael Walden shared with Carlos. Shape Shifter closes with two songs that are collaborations between Carlos and his son, musician Salvador Santana.
In all, Santana has won 10 Grammys — including a record-tying nine for a single project, 1999’s Supernatural. With 2010’s Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time, Santana joined the Rolling Stones as one of only two bands in history to score at least one Billboard Top Ten album in each decade from the 1960s forward. Carlos Santana has also been ranked No. 20 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Santana. Click through the titles for complete reviews …
SANTANA – GREATEST HITS: LIVE AT MONTREUX (2012): His sound is so crystalline, so special, that Carlos Santana remains recognizable with or without pictures. Yet for all of the accolades showered on this Mexican-born American guitar hero, not least of which is his inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Santana has always been as bold and colorful as he is collaboratively brilliant. Greatest Hits: Live at Montreux, filmed last summer, tends to underscore how these intersections have come to define his band — and, in some cases, how dearly collaborative voices like Gregg Rolie’s are missed.
SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: GREGG ROLIE, FOUNDING MEMBER OF SANTANA AND JOURNEY: Gregg Rolie, a 1998 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, has learned a lot about himself since taking fame’s exit ramp to start a family almost 30 years ago. He’s put into perspective the work done as a founding member of Santana, a stint that saw Rolie co-produce the group’s first four albums beginning in 1969. The bluesy B-3 stylist then added to an overstuffed resume that already included an appearance at Woodstock, leaving with Neal Schon to launch Journey. There, he helped craft a series of 1970s recordings that set the stage for that band’s arena-rock supernova moment in the 1980s.
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Here’s the tracklisting for Carlos Santana’s forthcoming album ‘Shape Shifter':
1. Shape Shifter
5. Angelica Faith
6. Never The Same Again
7. In The Light of a New Day
8. Spark of the Divine
9. Macumba In Budapest
10. Mr. Szabo
11. Erez La Luz
13. Ah, Sweet Dancer