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Album Review

Santana signed to Polydor in 1991 after 22 years with Columbia Records. On this label debut album, the band has been altered by official addition of frequent sideman Raul Rekow and Karl Perazzols, replacement of longtime percussionist Armando Peraza. But this septet is still led by Carlos Santana and keyboardist Chester Thompson, with Alex Ligertwood singing. The record has a somewhat elegiac tone, beginning with a stage introduction by the late promoter Bill Graham, who was Santana's mentor and unofficial manager, being dedicated to Graham and Miles Davis, who also had died since the last album, and featuring an excerpt from a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., solos taken from Davis and John Coltrane, and music written by Bob Marley, Coltrane, and Gil Evans. Despite the presence of all these heroic ghosts, however, Milagro is only an average Santana release, familiar-sounding but undistinguished, and it failed to arrest the band's commercial slide, becoming the first new Santana studio album not to crack the Top 100.


Formed: 1966 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Santana is the primary exponent of Latin-tinged rock, particularly due to its combination of Latin percussion (congas, timbales, etc.) with bandleader Carlos Santana's distinctive, high-pitched lead guitar playing. The group was the last major act to emerge from the psychedelic San Francisco music scene of the 1960s and it enjoyed massive success at the end of the decade and into the early '70s. The musical direction then changed to a more contemplative and jazzy style as the band's early personnel...
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