Out today (October 21) is Santana IV: Live at the House of Blues, Las Vegas," a CD and home video package chronicling the March 21 concert that was just one of four played this year by the reunited 1970-71 lineup of the group in support of its new studio album, which came out in April.
The show mixed songs from the album with vintage Santana material from the group's first three albums, and guitarist and namesake Carlos Santana tells us that playing again with Greg Rolie, Neal Schon, Michael Shrieve and Michael Carabello was easy peasy:
"It was like hugging and revisiting an old friend in a way that you close your eyes and you don't see the years that pass by. It's the same ocean. It's the same joy, the same respect. It was very natural and normal. People call it organic; I call it symbiotic to play with these musicians because we talk very little and we just point at it and hit it...I trust Gregg's heart and Neil's heart and everybody's heart Michael and Michael...It was very easy to do. It was just like Billie Holiday says, you open the faucet and water pours."
The members of Santana IV went their separate ways the rest of the year, with Santana leading his regular band, Schon touring with Journey and Rolie with Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band. The group expects to discuss plans for 2017 soon.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.