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Shape Shifter

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Editors’ Notes

After years of inviting various vocalists to accompany his six-string wizardry, Carlos Santana returns to form with 2012’s Shape Shifter, which lets his guitar do the singing. The title track sets the mood with a homage to Native American culture. The sounds of wild animals play alongside some brief chanting before rootsy instruments gradually build under Santana’s trademark leads: a blend of Latin styles played through classic rock guitar distortion. From the get-go, it’s evident that the man’s musicianship has aged well. Chester Thompson’s Hammond B-3 organ playing makes for perfect accompaniment here and throughout. He knows when to lean back and when to take the lead, balancing the call-and-response jamming without upstaging the star. Dramatic string arrangements in the following “Dom” spotlight Santana’s prowess as a composer (he arranged and produced much of Shape Shifter). The standout “Mr. Szabo” pays tribute to the influential Gábor Szabó, a Hungarian guitarist whose '60s albums are well worth searching out.

Customer Reviews

Shape shifter

Brilliant album. For late night listening

Back to his Rock roots

This new album takes a couple of listens. Back to his rock format with some great guitar sounds.

Great album

Santana back to his roots- one of the most brilliant guitarists!

Biography

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...
Full bio