With All My Relations | Sojourners

With All My Relations

Brothers is Carlos and Jorge Santana's first collaborative effort, bringing together the experience of Carlos' many albums with the Santana band and the passion of Jorge's early '70s success with the Latin-rock group Malo. Brothers, which also debuts the family's hard-rocking nephew Carlos Hernandez, is as eclectic a recording as one might expect from a family gathering such as this. It gives voice to the many musical spirits that inspired the Santanas' previous music-from John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Django Reinhardt to Ali Akbar Khan, Jeff Beck, and Jimi Hendrix.

Carlos Santana's characteristic mestizaje of blues, Afro-Cuban bop, and American pop speaks a musical language that is as clear as the "talking drums" of the West African masters. I once saw him cry a reluctant member of an audience on to the stage simply through the persuasive voice of his guitar. His soulful and buoyant composition "Luz Amor y Vida" literally sings, exhorting us never to give up on love in our lives; it is as heartfelt and expressive a guitar voice as any artist in our time.

Yet the problem with having such a distinctive musical voice is that there aren't a lot of places it can hide. The inclusion of his similarly talented brother and their pyrotechnic nephew allows for an added range of diversity in this album that is a refreshing change of pace from other Santana productions.

Though longtime Santana listeners will recognize a familiar riff here and there, Brothers searches for a new direction somewhat deeper than recent Santana albums-dealing more with the dark, introspective spirit of our age than the other-worldly positive vibration with which Carlos Santana is associated. Although equally inspired, Brothers plays with the melancholy heaviness of being that each of us faces day by day. If previous Santana albums evoke the image of Mexican or Cuban beaches, this album

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Sojourners Magazine July-August 1995
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