Thursday, January 5, 2017

Latin Shredder: Santana and "(Da Le) Yaleo"

A rock and roll legend and guitar lights up our random tune for today with some blistering solos. Carlos Santana is a Mexican-American musician whose band, Santana, pioneered the fusion of American rock and roll with Latin American music, highlighting Latin and African rhythms and instrumentation like timbales and congas. He started music in Mexico at five, learning violin and then guitar from his father, a mariachi musician, and he became very influenced by the music of Richie Valens, and blues artists like B.B. King, T-Bone Walker and John Lee Hooker. His guitar playing came to notice in 1966 when Paul Butterfield was unable to perform at the Fillmore West and Bill Graham was persuaded to ask Carlos Santana to fill in as guitarist with an impromptu band of musicians from Butterfield's band, the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. After forming the Santana Blues Band (later shortened to simply Santana), he quickly gained a following on the San Francisco music scene, and in 1969 gave a memorable performance at Woodstock which led to the band signing with Columbia Records. The band churned out such hits as Oye Como Va and Black Magic Woman as well as others over the next few years, but their popularity fell into decline over tensions within the group and a lot of changeover in musicians. The 1990s and beyond has brought Santana back into the limelight due to radio-friendly and more pop-oriented music, often in collaboration with many of the hit artists of newer generations. This song, (Da Le) Yaleo is from his 1999 album Supernatural, which won nine Grammy Awards.