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Santana: Santana III

For a while there, nearly everything in groove jazz seemed to refer, in some way, back to the Afro-Latin universe. So why didn’t more bands didn’t cop Santana’s funk conjurations, which came to a head on the group’s third album, Santana III (Columbia Legacy, CK 65481, 58:38)? Damned if I know. Following the self titled debut and the immensely popular Abraxas (which produced the now famous version of Tito Puente’s “Oye Como Va”), this disc was the last one that featured all the members of the group’s original Woodstock lineup. And even better, that lineup was augmented by a couple of newer additions, percussionist Coke Escovedo and a youthful guitar phenom named Neal Schon (who would later join fellow Santana alumnus Gregg Rolie in Journey). Here, everybody kicked hard on the disc opening “Batuka” (reprised as one of three live bonus cuts at the end of the disc), the tour de force “No One To Depend On,” to the AM radio hit :”Everybody’s Everything,” which featured the Tower of Power Horns, not to mention one of Carlos’ all-time wickedest solos.

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