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Carlos Santana's creative spigot is still flowing freely

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2015

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He's a 68-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee who's had along and storied enough life to have written a very thick memoir -- last year's award-winning "The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story to Light."

But Carlos Santana is still keeping himself busier than musicians even half his age.

Currently on the road for his regular summer tour with the band that bears his name, Santana has not only one but two major projects slated for 2016. He's finishing work on Santana IV, a project that reunites him with Santana band members circa 1971-72, including singer-keyboardist Greg Rolie and guitarist Neal Schon, who went on to form Journey. The album is recorded and will be mixed next month, and Santana plans to have the group on the road to support it.

"It's sound great," the guitarist says of the set. "There's so much energy. The songs are so vibrant, and I'm really, really grateful. I've never heard Greg sound better; we know he can play, but you should hear him singing. His voice has never been better.

"And Neal is one of the baddest guitar players around. It's just been a great joy all the way around, and we can't wait for people to hear it."

Meanwhile, Santana and his wife, drummer Cindy Blackman Santana are forming a jazz fusion group called Supernova that will also include saxophonist Wayne Shorter, keyboardist Herbie Hancock and guitarist John McLaughlin. He's planning to make an album with the band during the spring and tour in the summer in Europe, and possibly North America.

"Can you hear it?" Santana says of the high-powered combination. "It's kind of like playing with, sharing music with Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, 'cause Wayne and Herbie, they're at that level of genius, genius, genius, genius. I'm just grateful that they accept it and want to do it.

"And every time I play with Cindy, it goes viral. People go crazy. The energy between Cindy and I is very, very supernova."

As if all that isn't enough, Santana says he also hopes to record "a whole album" with Ronald Isley and Sly & the Family Stone/Graham Central Station bassist Larry Graham, both old friends who he's recently been working with.

"This is fun. It's not work. It's not a labor," Santana says. "It's a joy to do all these things and show up and be there. And everyday I'm grateful because I open the faucet and the water comes out and the water is pure. I can drink it, I can brush my teeth, comb my hair, wash my body.

"I have a real thirst for adventure, so I'm offering gratitude for having energy, having innocence and curiosity to keep finding these new things to do."


8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28

DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township.

Tickets are $39.50-$125 pavilion, $25 lawn with a $75 lawn four-pack.

Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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