With all the rumors over the last few years, you just knew it was inevitable that a reunion of the classic Santana band would eventually happen, and here in 2016 it has come to fruition. Joining the party are Carlos Santana (guitars, vocals), Neal Schon (guitars, vocals), Gregg Rolie (Hammond organ, keyboards, lead vocals), Michael Shrieve (drums), Michael Carabello (congas, percussion), Karl Perazzo (timbales, percussion, vocals), and Benny Rietveld (bass), and while not all were part of that magical early '70s line-up, this is as close as we are probably going to get. The result of their reunion is the spectacular IV, and it picks up practically where their third album from 1971 left off, but with a slightly more modern twist.
There are a batch of catchy, groove laden Latin/Afro/jazz-fusion styled rockers here with potential 'hit' written all over them, such as "Anywhere You Want to Go", "Choo Choo", "Caminando", "Love Makes the World Go Round" and "Freedom in Your Mind", the latter two featuring guest vocals from Ronald Isley. For the longtime fans however, it's the jazzy, jammy, yet groove-a-licious cuts like "Yambu", "Shake It", "Fillmore East", "All Aboard", the guitar rave-up "Echizo", and the lovely "Suenos" that will have the most appeal, each one packed with killer, dueling guitar work from Santana & Schon, sumptuous Hammond B-3 courtesy of Rolie, and plenty of intoxicating Latin rhythms. Another great point to make here with IV is that you never really realized just how much Rolie's vocals were missed over the years until you hear him once again in that role on this album; "Leave Me Alone", "Forgiveness", along with many of the great songs already mentioned above, feature Gregg still showing those excellent vocal chops, and such a perfect fit for this band.
With 16 songs, there's a lot to take in here on IV, but it's mostly all brilliant, vintage styled Santana, instantly engaging songs, strong vocals, and sizzling musical arrangements. Santana & Schon seem to be having a blast firing licks off each other, each one bringing out the best in the other, and one can only hope that this isn't the last we hear of this version of the band, despite how good the 'current' line-up of Santana is as well.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
Anywhere You Want To Go
Love Makes The World Go Round (Feat. Ronald Isley)
Freedom In Your Mind (Feat. Ronald Isley)
Leave Me Alone
You And I
Come As You Are