Santana – Space Caravan (Mainstream MAST-120)

 Space Caravan (Mainstream MAST-120)

Freiburg Stadthalle, Freiburg, Germany – November 12, 1972

Setlist:  Every Step Of The Way, Samba Pa Ti, Look Up (To See What’s Coming Down), Just In Time To See The Sun, Incident At Neshabur, Bambele, Stone Flower, Xibaba, Waiting (fade)

This recording features a very good clear audience tape. It is a little thin sounding, however, there is still great balance between the instruments and it is free from any audience interference. Unfortunately, it’s not a complete show.

This tour follows the October release of Caravanserai. Times were changing for Santana, a difference in musical direction saw the departure of Gregg Rolie and Neal Schon, who left to form Journey. Carlos and Michael Shrieve wanted something different. This new lineup, dubbed The New Santana Band, featured two outstanding keyboard players, Richard Kermode and Tom Coster. These new players would help take Santana’s music into a new experimental direction, bringing a heavy jazz influence to the band.  

Tom Coster and percussionist Armando Peraza, were also to become integral parts of Santana’s band, now and for years to come. Their sound here would also be expanded upon on albums like Welcome, and the live in Japan set, Lotus.Carlos’ playing is solid throughout this recording and he has no problem keeping up with this new direction. He even throws in a nice reference to The Beatles “Fool On The Hill” at the end of “Incident At Neshabur”.  The band are debuting new songs from the Caravanserai album with “Every Step Of The Way”, “Look Up (To See What’s Coming Down)”, “Just In Time To See The Sun”, and “Stone Flower”.

This first half of the show is almost entirely instrumental and features great playing from all the musicians. The only song on this disc with vocals, (other than group chants), is “Just In Time To See The Sun” and they are almost inaudible so I can’t identify the vocalist. The recording unfortunately fades during “Waiting” leaving us hanging. Hopefully someday the entire show will surface. This is essential material from an important transitional period for the band. This release is highly recommended to fans of Lotus and to anybody who wants to explore the deeper side of Santana.

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  1. After years of searching I’ve finally found a 2 disc release of Caravanserai outtakes. It’s on order though on pro CDR rather than pressed silver. Still, having spent years searching for this elusive release to have finally found it on something has to be better than nothing. What really excites me is Song of the Wind is listed as being included. Finally, it just might be possible to learn if the track continues for some while beyond the official release. I hope so!

  2. Wow, Caravanserai outtakes? I’d love to get my hands on that. If anyone knows, please share.

  3. Good to see a review of this Santana release which is very good. I’ve always considered Caravanserai to be a superb album and am surprised ‘Song of the Wind’ is not up there with Layla and STH as one of the all time guitar solo greats. I did once read of a 2CD release of Caravanserai outakes. I’ve never found this myself and wonder if anyone can confirm its existence and if so, what’s on it.


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