The unbelievable pinnacle of Santana's career!
Paulo Alm | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | 05/23/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Welcome finds Carlos Santana at the very top of his magnificent musical/spiritual vision - one that blended jazz, rock, latin into one inimitable, unique language. Sadly, it also marked the last time he would climb these heights.
Released in November 1973, the Santana band had been through a few key line-up changes. Gone were Gregg Rolie, Neal Schon and percussionist Mingo Lewis and in came keyboardists Tom Coster, Richard Kermode, percussionist Armando Peraza and vocalists Leon Thomas, Wendy Haas and - for one song - Return to Forever's Flora Purim. The album also benefits from the participation of John McLaughlin on the majestic Flame-Sky.
From the glorious beginning of Going Home to the last notes of John Coltrane's Welcome, the music here is diverse, full of richly textured elements coming from either the guitar/keyboards or the wall of sounds achieved by the percussionists and the extraordinary Michael Shrieve. The fact everything seems to be a-flowing only serves to leave one wondering about the incredible musicianship those guys could put forth.
This reissue of Welcome is welcoming indeed and definitely worth picking up. Besides sounding unbelievably great, it comes with a decent booklet bearing full credits and insightful liner notes - a clear improvement upon its original cd release. And most of all, the addition of the excellent album outtake Mantra as a bonus track just makes it even more perfect - an infectious Miles-influenced drums and bass groove with eerie voices chanting which will leave you begging for more."