Santana & McLaughlin
Invitation to Illumination: Live at Montreux 2011
Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin teamed up to record 1973's Love Devotion Surrender album but they have rarely performed together since; here the two guitarists thrill a packed house by performing most of that record along with fusion jazz interpretations of tunes like Carla Bley's frenetic "Vashkar" and a couple of Miles Davis cuts; a boogie-infused take on "Right Off" and a very funky version of "Black Satin." Homage is also paid to John Coltrane, a major influence on the Love Devotion Surrender record, with a beautiful rendition of "A Love Supreme," an acoustic version of "Naima" and the inclusion of parts of "Peace on Earth" in an instrumental medley that also features Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" and surprisingly, Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." As can be expected with any Santana show, here he and McLaughlin work with a large (nine-piece) backing band including three vocalists and two drummers, one of which is Santana's wife Cindy Blackman Santana. Claude Nobs, the founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival who just died earlier this year, joins in on harmonica for the show closer, a romp through John Lee Hooker's "Shake it up and Go."
Whether you call them The Mission as fans do in their British homeland or The Mission U.K. as they're known in the States, the band with two names has now been around for a quarter of a century and this 2-DVD/1-CD set celebrates their 25-year career. The DVDs present two full shows with basically the same set lists, one filmed at London's Brixton Academy and the other shot in Cologne, Germany. Highlights include the very poppy and U2-like songs "Butterfly on a Wheel" and "The Crystal Ocean," the bleak "Wake (RSV)" and a roaring version of Neil Young's "Like a Hurricane." Front man Wayne Hussey also shines on "Like a Child Again;" he performs the song by himself with an acoustic guitar while the band takes a break. "Tower of Strength" closes out the show.
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