Original Released on LP Columbia CS 9781
(US, August 1969)
Organist-pianist-vocalist Gregg Rolie, timbalero-conguero Jose “Chepito” Areas, conguero Michael Carabello, bassist David Brown, drummer Michael Shrieve, and guitarist Carlos Santana took their love for blues, funk, rock, jazz, and Afro-Cuban music and from this amalgam forged a new music, a nerw sound, which notwithstanding all the descriptive attempts down through the years is still best described as SANTANA. Without question, it was the sound, and the approach to melody of Carlos Santana that totally set this band apart from any other. Audiences almost immediately connected with that “certain thing” which Carlos Santana embodies, understanding that even in a musical universe populated by a plethora of supremely talented guitarists, there was only one Carlos Santana.
This first self-titled outstanding album, with a sensational cover art by Lee Conklin, was recorded in May 1969 at Pacific Recording, San Mateo, California, but was only released in late August, after Santana’s appearance at Woodstock, the festival which changed them – and us – forever. It was their rendition of “Soul Sacrifice” so dramatically captured in the movie and so indelibly etched in the consciousness of the 400,000 + in attendance which announced «Move over, world: Santana is in the house!».This special set, assembled from the double Legacy edition, contains 6 bonus tracks: an alternative and longer take # 4 of “Soul Sacrifice” (in my opinion superior to the one used in the original album), which was recorded during the May sessions; and five tracks recorded in January 1969, prior to Michael Shrieve and Jose “Chepito” Areas joining the band.