Black Magic Evil Ways (Rockmasters RMC – 005)
Se A Cabo, Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen, Savor, Jingo, Oye Como Va, Toussaint L’Overture, Evil Ways, Treat, Persuasion, Gumbo, Incident at Neshabur, Conquistador Rides Again
This show captures Santana in their early prime. The band is running like a well oiled machine and the set has nice continuity, even if there is editing in between a few tracks (no loss of music). Other than an obvious cut in “Jingo”, all songs appear to be complete. The recording is an excellent soundboard with the percussion and lead vocal up front in the mix. What makes it a pleasure to listen to is the great blend between the percussion players.
Oftentimes one would overshadow the rest giving it an uneven feel. Guitar and bass could be a little louder but the mix is still very good. Abraxas wouldn’t be released until October, so many of these songs would be unknown to Santana’s fans. Even “Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen”, recorded just one week prior, and “Oye Como Va” are probably being heard for the first time. “Toussaint L’Overture”, not released until the third album, gets a spot in the set, also.
Older favorites like “Evil Ways”, “Persuasion” and the dynamic “Treat” receive excellent crowd response. The crowd can only be heard in the distant between songs but they certainly seem to be enjoying themselves. Santana were definitely proving to be a great live act. This set is highly recommended.