Abraxas album cover



Santana’s second album, 1970’s Abraxas, includes the group’s two classic hits, a medley of Fleetwood Mac’s “Black Magic Woman” and Gabor Szabo’s “Gypsy Queen” and a cover of Tito Puente’s “Oye Como Va,” but the original compositions hint at the inclinations toward fusion and even spiritual jazz that would propel a revamped lineup’s journey to the stars a couple of years later. The opener, “Singing Winds, Crying Beasts,” with its panning cymbal washes and ominous harp and piano, promises a weirder album than we get, but tracks like “Incident at Neshabur,” the Rare Earth-ish “Hope You’re Feeling Better,” and “Se a Cabo” surge like the ocean, Gregg Rolie’s hard-driving organ and Carlos Santana’s searing guitar charging forth on a bed of complex rhythm.

Phil Freeman

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