Carlos Santana/Mahavishnu John McLaughlin – Love Devotion Surrender (69037) (1973)

SAM_0634It takes some cojones to tackle John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”, but that’s exactly how Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin kick off their mega-spiritual Love Devotion Surrender. The pair goes on to bookend side one with a likewise heavy spiritual jazz response to JC’s anthem called “The Life Divine”. What must Santana fans have made of this?

Santana is, of course, no stranger to overplaying, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this is, given its jazz-rock impetus, an all out note-fest at times, with none of the pop flavour of his titular band. And yet, in the context of a prayer offering to both the Divine and John Coltrane, such indulgence makes perfect sense. Something of a transmutation to the guitar of Coltrane’s “sheets of sound”, Love Devotion Surrender is held together harmonically by organist Larry Young, who allows Devadip and Mahavishnu to launch into note torrents, particularly on side two’s joyful “Let Us Go Into the House of the Lord”. And there is time for respite in the form of “Meditation” and another Coltrane cover, “Naima”; with what comes previously, both have the feel of post-coital cigarettes. A challenging and rewarding listen.

An original UK issue, with a gatefold cover, fantastic condish, only a pound.SAM_0633

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Published in: on January 23, 2015 at 2:36 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. i was a massive santana fan (well, of the group anyway) as a teenager in the late 70’s, but (perhaps wisely in retrospect) i never got around to shelling money out for this. i did get hold of carlos’ later solo offering “the swing of delight”, which “golden hours” apart (and that was basically the santana band of the time) was unlistenable as carlos and his superstar fusion chums/legends (herbie hancock, tony williams etc) indulged themselves in extremis. on that abomination he was credited as “devedip carlos santana”, whereas here (unlike mclaughlin, who by the way i consider one of the most over-rated guitarists ever) he’s just plain old carlos. is that because he’s still waiting to graduate from the sri chimnoy academy? or because columbia/cbs thought it would be a good sales tack using mclaughlin’s spiritual title as it was already familiar to punters as his band’s name?

    • If you’re expecting Abraxas you will be disappointed. If you’re open to this sort of Spiritual Jazz, it’s really good.


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