RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Santana – Shape Shifter
Starfish Records


Rating: B

Carlos Santana, nearing 65 years of age, is a long way from retiring. He still has much to say, musically, and, as this release proves, he also has a lot of great music in the vault.
The songs on Shape Shifter were recorded between 1997 and 2007, and save for one track, they are all instrumentals. Santana weaves his wide ranging pallet of musical colors on these tunes, switching from his famous Latino influence to pure ballads to blistering blues.
While many of Santana’s later tunes, especially the singles, are painstakingly written and produced, this batch of guitar instrumentals comes from a different place. On these songs, Carlos is living within the fabric of the music itself, basically jamming and letting the notes fall where they may.
There is not a weak moment on the entire album, making wonder why these tunes were not released before and making one desire to hear more music that has been kept from public consumption.

This one is not only for diehard Santana fans it is for guitar players, as well as music aficionados of all genres and ages.

By Jeb Wright