Sorry Guys, Cindy is taken...

Aeolian

Platinum Member
It's hard for me to take Santana seriously. While he can be a lyrical player (which I enjoy) he constantly retreads the same old stichk. There's a joke amongst guitar players that on his recent albums someone in the mixing room said "Turn up the Santana". Based on the superimposition of that stichk over otherwise benign pop songs.

He seems to have a real fascination with jazz, but has never bothered to learn it. All the hiring of ex Miles sidemen and constantly "jamming" with real jazz musicians.

There are a couple of youtubes of him out there of him stepping on folks and getting his ass handed to him. I guess this rant was triggered by running across (again) a youtube last night of him playing with Miles Davis (look up Burn). Robben Ford is Mile's guitarist at the time and as they're playing the head, Carlos is just standing there with a dumb look on his face. There being no way he could play what Robben is playing. Then there is a part where they are supposed to be trading fours and Carlos runs all over Robben who very politely lets him. Then after a few more back and forths with Robben playing off of what Carlos is doing, Ford must either get bored or tired of the stichk, and rips off some outside riff in the vein of what all the Miles guys were doing at the time. Carlos just stands there and does another "patented" Santana run. There's another youtube with a less patient and forgiving George Benson. After Santana steps on Benson a few too many times with the same basic wanking, George rips off some insane bebop run while staring down Carlos with this wild bugeyed Muhammad Ali look. If you appreciate the dynamic of what is going on, it is too funny.

So, maybe as people, Carlos and Cindy are soulmates. But his prediliction for "hanging" with real jazzers colors the whole thing for me.
 

konaboy

Pioneer Member
I don't think Chambers ever has to worry about not having a job ;-) If it's not with Santana I'm sure someone will ask him to be in their band right quick and in a hurry!
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Cindy's taken? Oh no! All those possibilities for percussive lesbian love are goooooone!

Okay, you can settle down now, guys - just kidding :p
Seriously(?) ... Jeff, there was a Santana and Cindy Blackman marry thread a while ago.

Aeolian, now that you mention it, it does seem pretty clear what Carlos is up to. Never paid that much attention until now. Santana 3 was my fave album for a while in the 70s, and the Batuka solo took my head off (never to be found since), so I find it hard to judge.

Looking at those clips you mentioned, given that Uncle Carlos is essentially an ersatz horn player on guitar, he certainly could learn a thing or two from jazz horn players about listening and waiting until their contribution is needed. A Miles track, Call It Anything, goes for about 1/2 an hour and sax player Gary Bartz seemingly waits forever before playing, but he tears it up when he finally starts and the impact is all the greater for his previous restraint.

Having said that, there are worse reasons to marry than to gain jazz fusion cred :)
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I was too busy paying attention to pay attention.!!!
Doncha hate it when that happens? :)

Just looked at that Breezin' vid with George B and Carlos again http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJzqOi2Abjc.

I felt like Carlos was trying to overlay his art deco over Benson's Edwardian structure. It wasn't that great a mix to my ear and could have only worked if Carlos only played when bidden. On the plus side it was at least better than a restaurant band I subbed for when I was a poor student :)
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Generally, it's not cool to bag on another musician. But I think for everyone, there's one or two folks that get to them. I enjoyed some early Santana stuff although I was never a fiend. My two favorite songs, Samba Pa Ti and Europa were written by keyboard players (Greg Rollie and Tom Coster). I've played Europa more times than I can remember, both back in the 70's and in more recent times. Folks seem to enjoy hearing me play it. It's a very nice melody and there's plenty of room for some rubatto with the phrasing. I've always considered the ability to play lyrically a basic prerequisite. So by the time I heard Santana, I'd already spent hours with Jeff Beck, Hendrix, Clapton and others who played smoothly.

As far as being an ersatz horn player; I would consider calling Robben Ford that. Actually Ford's first instrument was the alto sax even though his dad was a guitarist and his older brother a drummer. It wasn't until he heard Michael Bloomfield (another lyrical player who was a huge influence on me) that he decided to pick up guitar. Although he continued playing sax well into the 80's. There is a combination of sax like phrasing, sax like tone, and sax like musical ideas to his playing.

And as for that sax like tone. One of the tools Ford uses is an amplifier made for him by an eccentric genius in LA named Alexander Dumble. Dumble made around 200 of these, mostly for session folks like Ford, Carlton, Rios, and LA studio owners like Christopher Cross and Jackson Browne. These are now collectors items as Dumble got tired of dealing with wannabe folks who thought Ford or Carlton's sound was in the box. He occasionally makes another one for someone special. The last I heard was he was making one for Michael Landau. A small cottage industry has sprung up trying to make amps similar to these. The amp I used on that Summertime Rhumba clip is one of the 2nd gen takeoffs. When Carlos played a Dumble amp and fell in love with it, Dumble basically shooed him away. Carlos had to buy one of the ex Christopher Cross amps on the open market (which at the time was around $40K and is up around $70K these days for a good one).

Carlos is a blues guitarist (he actually often described himself as this) who discovered a couple of tricks beyond the minor pentatonic box that most blues guitarists keep to. While most adventurous blues boxers eventually stumble onto a full major scale, Carlos found the Dorian scale, which sounded somewhat different and unique (although it forces him to play tunes over minor chords) compared to other rock or blues guitarists. That, together with the trills and slides have basically been it for the last 35 years. And the reason folks who put in the time and effort to learn jazz harmony and the rest tend to not hold him in such high regard as the general public.

It's like someone coming up to you at a gig and saying you must like Travis Barker or something, because that's the only drummer they can think of. Where if they compared you to Donati or someone, you'd feel really complimented.

Kudos for a guy who can keep himself relevant and keep selling records. Play on stages with great sidemen and guest monster jazzers. And if you can end up with someone like Cindy Blackman, more power to you.
 

Michael McDanial

Senior Member
There are a couple of youtubes of him out there of him stepping on folks and getting his ass handed to him. I guess this rant was triggered by running across (again) a youtube last night of him playing with Miles Davis (look up Burn). Robben Ford is Mile's guitarist at the time and as they're playing the head, Carlos is just standing there with a dumb look on his face. There being no way he could play what Robben is playing. Then there is a part where they are supposed to be trading fours and Carlos runs all over Robben who very politely lets him. Then after a few more back and forths with Robben playing off of what Carlos is doing, Ford must either get bored or tired of the stichk, and rips off some outside riff in the vein of what all the Miles guys were doing at the time. Carlos just stands there and does another "patented" Santana run. There's another youtube with a less patient and forgiving George Benson. After Santana steps on Benson a few too many times with the same basic wanking, George rips off some insane bebop run while staring down Carlos with this wild bugeyed Muhammad Ali look. If you appreciate the dynamic of what is going on, it is too funny.

So, maybe as people, Carlos and Cindy are soulmates. But his prediliction for "hanging" with real jazzers colors the whole thing for me.
Can you post the links to these videos? I find it interesting that he got George Benson fired up since I've always heard that Benson is a very nice guy.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
It's hard for me to take Santana seriously. While he can be a lyrical player (which I enjoy) he constantly retreads the same old stichk. There's a joke amongst guitar players that on his recent albums someone in the mixing room said "Turn up the Santana". Based on the superimposition of that stichk over otherwise benign pop songs.

He seems to have a real fascination with jazz, but has never bothered to learn it. All the hiring of ex Miles sidemen and constantly "jamming" with real jazz musicians.

There are a couple of youtubes of him out there of him stepping on folks and getting his ass handed to him. I guess this rant was triggered by running across (again) a youtube last night of him playing with Miles Davis (look up Burn). Robben Ford is Mile's guitarist at the time and as they're playing the head, Carlos is just standing there with a dumb look on his face. There being no way he could play what Robben is playing. Then there is a part where they are supposed to be trading fours and Carlos runs all over Robben who very politely lets him. Then after a few more back and forths with Robben playing off of what Carlos is doing, Ford must either get bored or tired of the stichk, and rips off some outside riff in the vein of what all the Miles guys were doing at the time. Carlos just stands there and does another "patented" Santana run. There's another youtube with a less patient and forgiving George Benson. After Santana steps on Benson a few too many times with the same basic wanking, George rips off some insane bebop run while staring down Carlos with this wild bugeyed Muhammad Ali look. If you appreciate the dynamic of what is going on, it is too funny.

So, maybe as people, Carlos and Cindy are soulmates. But his prediliction for "hanging" with real jazzers colors the whole thing for me.
...


I dont know, Aeolian, I saw Polly's Benson tape and saw nothing.

First off its a Benson'd gig and his tune so Carlos is the one fitting in. Secondly, these kind of invites to sit in have a lot of love going on, so if the guest rips it on a solo, or maybe even eats into the other's space, it really is a compliment and a tribute to the author of the tune, namely Benson himself. And he looked quite pleased about the whole thing, I thought. Maybe I'm missing something.

You are so right on about the Robben Ford thing.

Mr Ford has very few peers and most all guitarists should be wet-their-pants-frightened of him, in my opinion.

He is the real McCoy, period. Ask Larry Cartlon who admits to ripping off his licks all his life and Miles has a few incredible things to say about Robben too. Nuff said.

Over the years Carlos has been drawn to and has had a lot of respect for jazzers and has often tried to 'dabble' with them.

Again as you rightly say, he is a total misfit in that crowd. And yes the schtick goes get tiresome at times. : )

...
 
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DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
It's hard for me to take Santana seriously. While he can be a lyrical player (which I enjoy) he constantly retreads the same old stichk. There's a joke amongst guitar players that on his recent albums someone in the mixing room said "Turn up the Santana". Based on the superimposition of that stichk over otherwise benign pop songs.
Perhaps. At the same time, when ever you hear him, you know it's him. He's turned "the same ole thing" into an identifiable sound.

More than that, I think it's interesting that he has been able to totally re-invent himself over the last few years.

Yeah, much of it (the new stuff) is bubble pop, but at the same time, I have to hand it to him for finding way to not just live off his 60's reputation playing oldies, and making himself relevant to a younger generation.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Try this, Michael:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJzqOi2Abjc

I'm pretty sure Aeolian's talking about late in the clip, just after 4:40.
Actually that's not the one I was talking about, which I can't find at the moment. It's from a different show and later period. Santana isn't in his Devadip thing with the Yamaha guitar. But there is a fairly funny companion clip to that Breezin one where they are playing Valdez in the Country. Carlos just stands there faking it though the head (you'd think he'd take the trouble to learn it, it isn't that hard) and during his solo when it goes to the B part with all the changes he just panics, stops and let's George take over. What's funnier is that George knows the changes well enough to play something repetitive (as Carlos normally would) through most of it. Typically George would burn though those changes with all kinds of creative substitutions.

If you're going to try an hang with jazzers, try to learn a little jazz is all I'm saying. I'll admit, Valdez looks a little intimidating when you first see the chart as what sounds like it repeats in the B section is actually a different set of chords. But they're just substitutions and it's not that hard to basically play though. Kind of fun even when you practice it a bit.

I just hope Cindy keeps up with the Tony Williams stuff and the New York crowd she normally hangs with. Maybe Carlos will finally learn some jazz.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Actually that's not the one I was talking about, which I can't find at the moment. It's from a different show and later period.
Oh well, egg on face #2,512 :) It just seemed at around 4:40 that Carlos had been doing the hero thing and then George did some very fast runs and looked bug-eyed when he did it - I must have mistaken the bug eyes for a Mohammed Ali look ...

I think you posted your playing a while ago and I said you sounded a bit like Santana ... I had no idea what a faux pas it was lol

I don't know much about Cindy but, from what I've heard of her, I prefer Terri-Lynne's and Hilary Jones's feel. Great player but I saw a solo on the Tube (not sure how old) where she was doing the exact same licks Tony did on a Stanley Clarke album. Maybe moving on from apeing Tony would be a good thing?
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
I've exchanged some emails with Hilary and talked to her at some gigs. Really nice lady who can bring it. One of the things I love about her playing is her dynamics. She doesn't need to be pounding to be grooving like a freight train. I've heard he take it down to a whisper and lot loose an ounce of drive.

Are you familiar with Silvia Cuenca? SF Bay Area drummer. I've met her though some mutual friends. More straight ahead. She plays with Clark Terry when in New York and Bruce Forman (monster jazz guitarist) when out this way. Latin heritage. I always thought that if Carlos wanted to play with a serious lady jazz drummer, Silvia would be it. She's got that natural laid back swing.

I guess the cool thing with Cindy is that she's really working at keeping the Tony Williams awareness thing going. Although I did see something written about tradition being keeping the flame alive, not worshiping the ashes. And with the Tony thing, there's more of a Miles connection, which really seems to drive Carlos.
 
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