Santana – Caravanserai



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Santana – Caravanserai

Santana - Caravanserai

Filled with harmonious performances that reflect the definition of its title – a place at which ideas, products, and culture are freely traded – Caravanserai marks the start of Carlos Santana’s foray into the jazz-fusion territory that would inform his career for the better part of the next two decades.

Inspired by Miles Davis‘ pioneering period work, and aiming to discover and develop inner peace within a musical realm, the guitarist sets off on a quest to find his equivalent of the spiritual dimensions John Coltrane channels on A Love Supreme.

The daring move paid dividends: The namesake band’s 1972 album landed in the Top 10, sold more than a million copies, and established Santana as a visionary who refused to cater to commercialism.

Sourced from the original analogue master tapes and pressed at Fidelity Record Pressing, Mobile Fidelity’s numbered-edition 180g 33RPM LP brims with atmospheric texture, three-dimensional spaciousness, and revealing micro-dynamics.

This collectible audiophile reissue exposes the natural feel of Santana and drummer Mike Shrieve’s production, allowing the music to emerge with refreshing airiness, intimate presence, and organic balance.

Whether the sound pertains to the brassy reach of a saxophone, bloom of an acoustic bass, intricate wash of an organ, or trailing note of an echo, Caravanserai projects with superb detail and clarity.

This is an album whose meanings and scope tremendously benefit from such enhanced closeness, warmth, and tonality.

Just consider the quote from Indian monk-yogi Paramahansa Yolanda gracing the album’s inner cover: “The body melts into the universe.

The universe melts into the soundless voice. The sound melts into the all-shining light. And the light enters the bosom of infinite joy.” Yolanda’s words serve as a guide:

Caravanserai feels at once cosmic, hopeful, bright, festive.

Though grounded and centred, its songs seem to float in an otherworldly stratosphere; its liberating passages and pulsing rhythms don’t touch the ground.

Arrangements point forward and skyward, drawing attention to a higher consciousness and away from earthly pursuits. The effect is beautiful, uplifting, freeing.

Soulfulness and spirituality course throughout Caravanserai. Its deep emotionalism and heartfelt expressiveness are on par with the most personalised playing of Santana‘s career.

Distinct from instrumentally based albums centered around jams performed for the sake of virtuosity, Caravanserai retains a cohesive focus and purpose.

It is foremost an album of songs connected by melody, groove, and relative concision.

It makes demands on not just the ears but the heart and mind.

Directly and indirectly invoking concepts like purifying, cleansing, and sharing, it invites you to listen and concentrate with undivided attention.

The final Santana record to feature guitarist Neil Schon and organist Greg Rollie for more than four decades, Caravanserai displays no hint of the discord that would soon cause the line-up to splinter.

Functioning as a unified collective with an all-for-one mentality, the band arrives at intersections at which rock, Latin, jazz, and funk speak a common language.

Santana, Schon, Rollie, bassist Douglas Rauch, and company delve into the boundless – and then-novel – possibilities of fusion without exploiting technique, taxing patience, or running adrift.

Opening with the sound of chirping crickets – which immediately announces the album’s preoccupation with nature and harmonious existence in the universe – Caravanserai brings listeners into a world unlike that on any other record.

Designed to be heard in sequence, the 10-track LP doubles as an immersive adventure into the known and unknown.

In addition to the exceptional musicality, the band embraces a metaphysical vibe that suits the wordless messages conveyed in aptly titled songs such as the explorative “Waves Within” and funk-laden “Look Up (To See What’s Coming Down).” On the radiant “Song of the Wind,” Santana and Schon trade sun-bound solos atop a subtle foundation laid by Rollie’s organ.

So it goes on Caravanserai: As Santana shines, so does his band.

The record’s second half ventures deeper into the mystic. “All the Love in the Universe” incorporates sitar-like elements and harmonious chants; the mediative “Future Primitive” uses quiet as an instrument; the Brazilian-spiced “Stone Flower” sees the group setting lyrics to an Antonio Carlos Jobim tune; Cuban accents, timbales, and bongos pop on the danceable “La Fuente del Ritmo,” featuring contributions by jazz legend and then-new recruit Armando Peraza.

On the epic closer “Every Step of the Way,” the group nods to Miles Davis’ space-jazz oeuvre before transitioning to a woodwinds-meet-conga-meets-guitar blowout topped off by an orchestral arrangement.

 It’s a lot to absorb. This reissue invites you to listen again and again – and experience everything that makes the album inimitable.

Track List: Santana – Caravanserai

Eternal Caravan of Reincarnation

Waves Within

Look Up (To See What’s Coming Down)

Just in Time to See the Sun

Song of the Wind

All the Love of the Universe

Future Primitive

Stone Flower

La Fuente del Ritmo

Every Step of the Way


Mobile Fidelity

Mobile Fidelity Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab has been the undisputed pioneer and leader in audiophile recordings since the company's inception in 1977. Established by dedicated audiophiles, Mobile Fidelity's first and foremost goal was to offer faithfully reproduced high fidelity recordings that would compliment the numerous advances occurring in audio delivery systems. Throughout its history, Mobile Fidelity has remained true to this goal, pioneering state-of-the-art technologies and setting audiophile standards that remain in place today. In response to rapid advancements in both recording formats and audio delivery systems over the past several years, Mobile Fidelity has maintained its ongoing commitment to improving industry standards. This has resulted in the introduction of numerous innovations in the audiophile arena: half-speed mastered Original Master Recording™ LPs, Ultra High Quality Records™ (UHQRs), high fidelity cassettes, consumer alignment devices for phono cartridges and audio cassette decks, Original Master Recording™ compact discs, the 24-karat gold plated Ultradisc™ CD and the Ultradisc™ Ultra High Resolution™ (UHR). To this day the independently owned firm continues its commitment to exceeding industry standards.  

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