173

Santana at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

SOURCE:

Sign in to view read count
From the start of his Thursday set at the Joint in Las Vegas' Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Carlos Santana made clear what historical moment he hoped to invoke, if not revive.

As the 11-piece group got the polyrhythms of Santana's early hit “Soul Sacrifice" simmering, images flashed across the large screen behind the musicians of an earlier, more famous rendition of the song.

It was from Woodstock, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Providing a thrilling end to an excellent set at the definitive rock festival, that version of “Soul Sacrifice" helped make the guitarist one of the great stars of the hippie era. “Soul Sacrifice" sounded different Thursday night than it did at Woodstock: It was softer-edged, less aggressive and deliberately wild. Santana, now a mellow presence at 61, has come a long way since his reputation-making early days: He's expanded his Latin-rock fusion sound to more explicitly encompass jazz, African and reggae music, as well as hip-hop-era pop.

His fans have changed too. While many at the Joint literally could have been at Woodstock, the mood they projected had little in common with the muddy free-love-for-all of 1969. The cheer that went up when Santana expressed the hope that President Obama might legalize marijuana and give the resulting tax gains to schoolteachers was audible, but well contained.

This crowd sipped cocktails while sitting in neat rows, dressed in vacation finery: dresses and silicone-smooth hair for the ladies, sport shirts and carefully distressed jeans on the men. Though some women showed decolletage, no one was even remotely naked. Few emulated Santana's nouveau psychedelic look or relaxed demeanor.

The fact that Santana's show worked in this setting proves what an unusual rock icon he is. Though it's been promoted as the first rock residency to hit Las Vegas (apparently Prince, who took a similar extended gig at the Rio in 2006, doesn't count as a rocker), “Supernatural Santana: A Trip Through the Hits" was just as much a dance party and a jazz performance as a conventional rock show.

Continue Reading...

Visit Website

Post a comment

Tags

Shop Amazon

Jazz News

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.