Early experiments in mainstream music

  • 23 Jun, 2016
  • Perreaux

I’m drawn to one of Santana’s early albums called ‘Caravanserai’. To my mind it represents an early attempt at producing a mainstream album based around the idea of 'jazz like' instrumental tracks.

The album cover is an absolute work of pure genius and still one of my all time favourites. You can just imagine the intense searing heat, and those weary camel caravans, slowly winding their way across the endless featureless desert. All the while the sun beats mercilessly down upon them.

The intro track, is titled ‘the eternal caravan of reincarnation’ and is a real slow burner and then on the second track, ‘Waves within’ you are hit with the magnificent Hammond organ working in combination with Carlos Santana on guitar.

In particular, I'm drawn to the juxtaposition of the Hammond Organ and electric guitar on this album. Such a pure sound and something that you just never hear anymore. Who plays the Hammond today? it is a relic, and extinct dinosour! what a combination....what a sound!

One of the best tracks has to be 'Song of the wind' You can clearly hear the way the Hammond and electric guitar work together ... absolute genius.

‘Caravanserai’ was produced in 1971 and I rate it as one of Santana’s best and a bold step into the world of musical experimentation in mainstream audio.

It may be a musical relic, but it still demands incredible respect for its sheer brilliance and ability to take mainstream music in new directions.

You can listen to the full album here.





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