Santana – Caravanserai (1972)

FrontCover1Caravanserai 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. Original bassist David Brown left the group in 1971 and was replaced by Doug Rauch and Tom Rutley, while original percussionist Michael Carabello left and was replaced by Armando Peraza. Keyboardist/vocalist Gregg Rolie, who was having a falling-out with Santana, was replaced by Tom Coster on a few songs. Caravanserai reached number eight in the Billboard 200 chart and number six in the R&B Albums chart in 1972.

CarlosSantana1972The 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 Caravanserai 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. This album has been mixed and released in both stereo and quadraphonic.

It was the last Santana album to feature Gregg Rolie and Neal Schon, who went on to form Journey the following year. (by wikipedia)

Santana1972_01Drawing on rock, salsa, and jazz, Santana recorded one imaginative, unpredictable gem after another during the 1970s. But 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. (by Alex Henderson)

José “Chepito” Areas (percussion)
James Mingo Lewis (percussion, vocals on 06., piano on 09.)
Douglas Rauch (bass on 02. – 06., guitar on 02. + 03.)
Gregg Rolie (keyboards, vocals)
Tom Rutley (bass on 01., 06. + 08. – 10.)
Carlos Santana (guitar, vocals, percussion)
Neal Schon (guitar)
Michael Shrieve (drums, percussion)
Hadley Caliman (saxophone on 01., flute on 10.)
Tom Coster (piano on 09.)
Wendy Haas (piano (on 01. + 08.)
Armando Peraza (percussion on 09. + 09.)
Rico Reyes (vocals on 06.)
Douglas Rodrigues (guitar on 02.)
Lenny White (castanets on 06.)

01. Eternal Caravan of Reincarnation (Rutley/Schon/Shrieve) 4.28
02. Waves Within (Rauch/Rolie/C.Santana) 3.54
03. Look Up (to See What’s Coming Down) (Rauch/Rolie/C.Santana) 3.00
04. Just In Time To See The Sun (Rolie/C.Santana/Shrieve) 2.18
05. Song Of The Wind (Rolie/C.Santana/Schon) 6.04
06. All The Love Of The Universe (C.Santana/Schon) 7.40
07. Future Primitive (José Areas, Mingo Lewis) 4.12
08. Stone Flower (Jobim/C.Santana/Shrieve) 6.15
09. La Fuente del Ritmo (Lewis) 4.34
10. Every Step Of The Way (Shrieve) 9.05




3 thoughts on “Santana – Caravanserai (1972)

  1. From the crickets at the start to the last notes of Every Step Of The Way this was immediately one of my favorite Santana albums. The first copy I had in 72 was full of the usual vinyl ticks and pops which took nothing away from the excellent music it contained. The LP’s that followed this, Welcome and Barboletta, also found homes on my turntable. There was so much good music then.


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