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Carlos Santana & John McLaughlin — Invitation To Illumination: Live At Montreux 2011

 Carlos Santana & John McLaughlin — Invitation To Illumination: Live At Montreux 2011

Carlos Santana & John McLaughlin — Invitation To Illumination: Live At Montreux 2011
— Guitarist and vocalist who balanced blues, Latin, and jazz influences to make his eponymous group one of the most innovative in rock history.
Born: July 20, 1947 in Autlan de Novarra, Mexico
— Influential jazz guitarist who also explored blues, flamenco, and Indian music, and helped found the jazz/rock fusion movement.
Born: January 4, 1942 in Yorkshire, England
Location: Montreux, Switzerland
Album release: July 1st, 2011/August 20, 2013
Record Label: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Format: Color, NTSC
Region: Region 1
Duration:     134:55
Tracks:
01. Echoes Of Angels/Introductions      (5:11)
02. The Life Divine      (7:05)
03. Medley: Peace On Earth/A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall/Stairway To Heaven/Our Prayer/SOCC      (8:55)
04. Right Off      (11:21)
05. Vuelta Abajo      (6:20)
06. Vashkar      (7:07)
07. The Creator Has A Master Plan      (13:02)
08. Naima      (3:23)
09. Lotus Land Op. 47, No. 1      (5:33)
10. Downstairs      (6:59)
11. Venus/Upper Egypt      (10:13)
12. Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord      (13:08)
13. Black Satin      (9:18)
14. Cindy Blackman Santana Drum Solo      (2:29)
15. A Love Supreme      (9:44)
16. Shake It Up And Go      (15:07)
Completely Track Listing:
1) Echoes Of Angels / Introduction 2) The Life Divine 3) Duende 4) Peace On Earth / Dear Lord 5) A Hard Rain Is Gonna Fall 6) Stairway To Heaven 7) Lord's Prayer 8) Free America / The 8th Of January 9) La Marseillaise 10) Right Off 11) Guitar Interlude 12) Right Off 13) Vuelta Abajo 14) Vashkar 15) The Creator Has A Master Plan 16) Guitar Interlude 17) Naima 18) Lotus Land Op.47 No.1 19) Downstairs Blues 20) Venus / Upper Egypt 21) Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord 22) Black Satin 23) Smooth Criminal 24) Land Of 1000 Dances 25) Cindy Blackman Santana Drum Solo 26) A Love Supreme 27) Montreux Boogie (inc. La Grange) 28) A Love Supreme 29) Shake It Up And Go
Personnel:
≡  Carlos Santana — Lead Guitar & Vocals
≡  John McLaughlin — Lead Guitar & Vocals
≡  Cindy Blackman Santana — Drums
≡  Dennis Chambers — Drums
≡  David K. Mathews — Keyboards
≡  Tommy Anthony — Guitar & Vocals
≡  Raul Rekow — Congas, Percussion & Vocals
≡  Etienne M’Bappé — Bass
≡  Benny Rietveld — Bass
≡  Tony Lindsay — Vocals
  Andy Vargas — Vocals
Editorial Reviews
≡  On July 1st, 2011, Montreux hosted the reunion of two master guitarists, Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin, with their Invitation To Illumination concert. Both musicians have been regulars at Montreux across the years but this was the first time they headlined their own concert together. The show features most of the tracks from their classic 1973 album Love Devotion Surrender mixed in with a wealth of other material. The evening was a showcase of supreme musical virtuosity and spirituality and typified the approach of these two great artists. It is certainly a performance not to be missed.
REVIEW
By Wesley Britton, BLOGCRITICS.ORG
≡  Published 10:00 pm, Monday, August 19, 2013
≡  Back in 1973, Love Devotion Surrender was an unevenly received jazz fusion collaboration between Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, as he was calling himself at the time, and Carlos Santana. In a sense, McLaughlin was the senior partner of the pair.
≡  Three years before introducing Santana to his spiritual master, McLaughlin had become a disciple of the guru Sri Chinmoy, from whom he got the name Mahavishnu. ≡  Both his second solo album, My Goal’s Beyond (1973) as well as Love Devotion Surrender were dedicated to Chinmoy. Both included writings from Chinmoy on the covers, and, on the latter, he is seen on the back photo with his hands on the shoulders of his two white-suited disciples, McLaughlin and the new convert, Santana.
≡  Musically, McLaughlin was also the leader of the partnership. Santana, of course, was the guitarist for the Latin-rock band named after him with several hit albums and a memorable appearance at Woodstock in his resume. At the time, McLaughlin was a pioneer of the sub-genre of jazz-rock fusion with stints with Miles Davis and the Tony Williams Lifetime behind him. He was the leader of The Mahavishnu Orchestra and was famous for his double-necked guitar—one six-string, one twelve.
≡  While Love Devotion Surrender was dedicated to Chinmoy, it was also clearly a tribute to jazz giant John Coltrane. As such, Santana was venturing into McLaughlin’s playground even as many of the players on the five extended tracks drew both from The Mahavishnu Orchestra and Santana’s own group. The final result, produced by both McLaughlin and Santana, ended up pleasing the jazz fusion crowd more than Santana’s rock base, and even in the more high-brow world of jazz enthusiasts, the experiment met with mixed critical response.
≡  Thirty-eight years later, Love Devotion Surrender was revisited live at Montreux, and that one-time only concert is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, or on digital formats as Invitation to Illumination: Live at Montreux 2011. Now, if anyone’s the senior partner, it’s Santana. In 2011, McLaughlin was only the most recent star to join Santana for one of his many Montreux performances. But, in the main, this was very much a collaborative effort with considerable input from McLaughlin, to put it mildly. After all, Santana and McLaughlin are two seasoned pros who both know how to light up the pyrotechnics, glide into interwoven melody lines, or restrain their fingers to give the other guy space to show off his chops.
≡  To begin, all but one track from Love Devotion Surrender (excluding “Meditation”) were redone on that July 2011 night, including John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” as well as “The Life Divine,” the latter a McLaughlin reworking of “A Love Supreme.” “Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord” was and is a Santana/McLaughlin arrangement of the gospel standard. One very nice section is when the two guitarists pick up their acoustic guitars to play Coltrane’s “Naima,” which was on Love Devotion Surrender, and the flamenco-flavored “Lotus Land Op 47, No. 1,” which wasn’ t.
≡  The rest of the performance, depending on your taste, can be described as the pair trying to offer something for everybody. As a result, much of the concert doesn’t have any real flow or continuity and sometimes just seems simply padded. True, when the performers stay close to the jazz/rock format, they soar the highest. For example, after McLaughlin described his admiration for Tony Williams, the ensemble performed two numbers from the Lifetime catalog, “Vuelta Abajo” and “Vashkar.” Going back to his work with Miles Davis, McLaughlin updates “Right Off” which he played on the 1971 Davis-penned soundtrack, A Tribute To Jack Johnson as well as “Black Satin” from the 1972 release, On The Corner.
≡  But the nods to the duo’s inspirations strain from time to time, most notably the medley of “Peace On Earth”/”A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”/”Stairway To Heaven”/”Our Prayer”/”SOCC.” While it was nice to see the late Claude Nobs, founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival, playing harmonica on the final John Lee Hooker boogie “Shake It Up And Go,” the jam wasn’t a convincing blues outing. Well, it had more grit than “Downstairs Blues,” as much a paint-by-numbers guitar blues performance as you’re likely to hear.
≡  Without question, the backup band was first rate. Special kudos must go to Cindy Blackman Santana for drum work rivaling percussion masters like Tony Williams — to whom McLaughlin compares her — as well as two of the drummers who played on Love Devotion Surrender: Billy Cobham (Mahavishnu Orchestra) and Michael Shrieve (Santana). Blackman Santana once played with Pharoah Sanders, and his “The Creator Has A Master Plan” is part of the set list.
≡  Keyboardist David K. Mathews also added considerable texture and drama throughout the entire set. Gratefully, he plays traditional organ and piano and not the electronic synthesizers that came to dominate the jazz/rock genre in the ’70s. Other contributors included Dennis Chambers (drums), Tommy Anthony (guitar and vocals), Raul Rekow (percussion), Etienne M’Bappé (bass), Benny Rietveld (bass), and occasional vocalists Tony Lindsay and Andy Vargas.
≡  As we’ve come to expect from all the Montreux concerts issued from Eagle Rock Entertainment, both the visuals and sound are captured in state-of-the-art quality. Mostly. In this case, while the instruments are mixed perfectly, it’s often hard to hear the introductions and comments from McLaughlin or Santana.
≡  In the end, Invitation To Illumination is a disc for those into the jazz/rock fusion era or those who enjoy watching guitar virtuosos cutting loose with a variety of material. There are powerful solos and all the players clearly feel inspired enough to jell together for perhaps 80% of the set. However, strange to say, at two hours and a quarter, the program just goes on too long. Perhaps I just don't have enough devotion to surrender to all this love. (http://www.seattlepi.com/)
In french:
≡  Un concert qui devrait ravir les amateurs de ces 2 guitaristes virtuoses qui se connaissent depuis déja un certain temps (Love Devotion Surrender, leur premiere collaboration, date de 1973)...
Also:
DVD/BLUE RAY at Abstract Logix:
≡  http://www.abstractlogix.com/xcart/product.php?productid=25849
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Carlos Santana & John McLaughlin — Invitation To Illumination: Live At Montreux 2011

 

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