“Santana IV” was officially released on April 15th. Although it’s the band’s 23rd studio album, it’s only the fourth album featuring almost the entire Woodstock era lineup with Gregg Rolie (lead vocals, keyboards and Hammond B3 organ), Michael Carabello (congas, percussion and background vocals), Michael Shrieve (drums), Neal Schon (guitar and vocals) and, of course, Carlos Santana (guitar and vocals). Karl Perazzo (timbales, percussion and vocals) and Benny Rietveld (bass) round out the lineup.
Despite the fact that these musical veterans are certainly more polished than they were in the ’70s, this album fits right in with early Santana releases. Even the recording elements have an old school flair with extensive use of stereo effects throughout, most notably on the instrumental “Fillmore East.”
Another notable musician, The Isley Brothers’ Ronald Isley lends his vocal talent on “Love Makes the World Go Round” and “Freedom in Your Mind.” Carlos Santana is an incredible guitarist on his own and adding complements from Neal Schon, the guitars on this recording are nothing short of awesome. This album is packed with 16 tracks of excitement ranging from the slow and sultry instrumental complexities of “Suenos” to the “Oye Como Va” dance beat of “Leave Me Alone.”
Regardless of your musical forte, or in this case fortis, Santana IV is an album to add to your collection. Simply put, Latin flavored rock is just plain sexy.