Santana – Caravanserai is the fourth studio album by Santana released in October 1972. It marked a major turning point in Carlos Santana’s career as it was a sharp departure from his critically acclaimed first three albums. The sound contrasted greatly with Santana’s trademark fusion of salsa, rock, and jazz, and concentrated mostly on jazz-like instrumental passages. All but three tracks were instrumentals, and consequently the album yielded no hit singles. The album is the first among a series of Santana albums that were known for their increasing musical complexity, marking a move away from the popular rock format of the early Santana albums towards a more contemplative and experimental jazz sound. While this record is regarded as an artistic success, the musical changes that began on its release in 1972 marked the start of a slide in Santana’s commercial popularity.
Alex Henderson: Drawing on rock, salsa, and jazz, Santana recorded one imaginative, unpredictable gem after another during the 1970s. But Santana – Caravanserai is daring even by Santana’s high standards. Carlos Santana was obviously very hip to jazz fusion — something the innovative guitarist provides a generous dose of on the largely instrumental Caravanserai. Whether its approach is jazz-rock or simply rock, this album is consistently inspired and quite adventurous. Full of heartfelt, introspective guitar solos, it lacks the immediacy of Santana or Abraxas. Like the type of jazz that influenced it, this pearl (which marked the beginning of keyboardist/composer Tom Coster’s highly beneficial membership in the band) requires a number of listenings in order to be absorbed and fully appreciated. But make no mistake: this is one of Santana’s finest accomplishments.
Santana – Caravanserai Tracklist
- Eternal Caravan of Reincarnation
- Waves Within
- Look Up (To See What’s Coming Down)
- Just in Time to See the Sun
- he Wind
- ll the Love of the Universe
- Future Primitive
- Stone Flower
- La Fuente del Ritmo
- Every Step of the Way
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