Th­ese es­says have been love let­ters to songs, but in this case it’s re­al­ly to an al­bum: Santana’s Car­a­vanserai, from 1972. I it’s not just a disc-full of songs, it’s a 51-minute ex­plo­sion of rhythm and pas­sion, the songs are just pieces of the puz­zle. Since it’s the song of the day, I have to pick one: It’s Stone Flow­er, writ­ten by Antônio Car­los Jo­bim, who’s ap­peared here be­fore.

To the ex­tent Car­a­vanserai has a hit, it’d be Song of the Wind, or maybe Every Step of the Way. I like Stone Flow­er be­cause along with the gui­tar/per­cus­sion as­sault, it em­beds a nice friend­ly lit­tle pop song.

Caravanserai

One rea­son the al­bum is so great is the band, which in­cludes Michael Shrieve, long one of my heroes, and Neil Schon, lat­er of Jour­ney fame.

It’s al­so worth talk­ing about the sound. There’s a cu­rios­i­ty; the al­bum was orig­i­nal­ly in­creased in quadra­phon­ic sound, an au­dio trend that last­ed about fif­teen min­utes in the ear­ly Seven­ties. But most­ly it just sounds great, the gui­tars and drum and Ham­mond or­gan parts ar­ranged with care and cap­tured with love. Yeah, there’s flashy drum­ming and hot­shot gui­tar shred­ding, but you al­most don’t no­tice be­cause you’re just go­ing with the flow of the songs. It’s a tru­ly great piece of mu­sic; the whole al­bum I mean, as a sin­gle piece of mu­sic.

This is part of the Song of the Day se­ries (back­ground).

Links · Spo­ti­fy playlist. Stone Flow­er on Ama­zon, iTunes, Spo­ti­fy. You can’t buy the al­bum from Ama­zon, but here are al­bum links at Spo­ti­fy and iTunes. As for live video, there’s noth­ing from Car­a­vanserai out there that cap­tures the feel­ing of the record.



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From: Pete Hornby (May 11 2018, at 15:46)

Tim,

Totally with you. In the early days of my long-dormant blog, I wrote a post about Caravanserai to recognize Carlos's 60th birthday. It says what I thought then, and still think now.

https://verbsap.wordpress.com/2007/07/20/happy-birthday-to-an-inspiration/

-Pete

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