It only takes a few rifts of his guitar, and Carlos Santana is instantly reconisable the world over.

Coinciding with the release of Supernatural Carlos Santana received a Grammy Award for his outstanding contribution to music.

Born in Mexico in 1947, Carlos Santana formed his first band, The Santana Blues Band, on leaving High School in 1966. The band, shortening its name to Santana, had a rapidly growing reputation, appearing on the bill at the Filmore West in 1967 with Credence Clear Water Revival and Jethro Tull.

In 1969, Santana appeared at Woodstock, and the debut album simply entitled Santana was released the same year. Santana remained in the US charts for two years.

Two memorable numbers by Santana are 'Black Magic Woman', also performed by Fleetwood Mac, and 'She's Not There', previously released by The Zombies.

How good Carlos Santana is, has a lot to with who are his supporting musicians. I was fortunate enough to see Carlos Santana perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London with one of his best ever line ups.

A lot of old Santana material gets regularly regurgitated on compilation albums and can be regularly found in bargain bins. That's where this material should remain as most of it is rubbish, poor performances, poorly recorded. A noticeable exception is a live double compilation entitled Latin Tropical and Jammin' Home.

Recommended albums: Santana, Abraxas, Supernatural.

Supernatural follows the same successful formula as John Lee Hooker achieved with The Healer, a number of guest appearances by other artists. Artists featured include Eric Clapton. Carlos Santana appears on The Healer.

Supernatural is also available as a live concert on DVD.

(c) Keith Parkins 2005 -- January 2005 rev 0