12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
This was the real "Santana"..,
This review is from: Caravanserai (Audio CD)
Those who dicovered that they liked the recent Santana albums ["Supernatural" and "Shamen"]and want to explore what the band's earlier albums sound like should borrow a copy of "Caravanserai" before buying it!
For this was the 'real' Santana Band in 1972, still with original members Neal Schon, Gregg Rolie and Mike Shrieve playing alongside Carlos. And the playing is simply incredible - although very much in the early 1970's jazz-rock 'fusion' mould, and about as far from today's commercial productions as is possible.
Forget 'guest singers'and 'guest producers'; think jazz-influenced latin-progressive-rock with tracks that build-up to nine minutes of sheer bliss. This album is one of a trio [with 1973's "Welcome" and 1974's [possibly even more beautiful -]"Borboletta" which took Santana as far into the reaches of jazz as they could go - bumping into 'Weather Report' territory in places. And despite being 30 years old, play it on a good quality hi-fi with the volume turned-up and just be amazed at how they managed to record sounds of dynamic range that the engineers probably couldn't even hear on the studio play-back in those days. Definitely worth a long listen or three before buying; the only downside to the CD version is that like most Santana albums of the 70's, the original artwork on the 12" LP was a superb gatefold picture, which simply doesn't have the same impact in a little CD cover! Nostalgia? Maybe, but suprisingly timeless and sublime.