There's some thrilling music happening on Hymns for Peace: Live at Montreux 2004
. That's not exactly a bulletin, considering that Carlos Santana and his New Santana Band, a crack outfit to begin with, are joined by several of the greatest jazz musicians of their generation, including saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianists Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea, and guitarist John McLaughlin--a recipe for brilliance that's fulfilled throughout the two-disc, three-hour show. If there's a mild surprise here, it's that the titular "hymns"--written by John Lennon, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan, and Stevie Wonder, and described by Santana as "spiritual songs that bring healing and illumination to all of humanity"--do not provide the show's most compelling moments. There's no doubt that "Just Like a Woman," "Imagine," "Redemption Song," "What's Going On," "Exodus," "Get Up, Stand Up," and others are timeless classics; but while the combination of these compositions and the people playing and singing them is certainly intriguing, the actual performances are straightforward and not especially scintillating (vocalists include Angelique Kidjo, Barbara Morrison, Patti Austin, and Santana singer Andy Vargas; Steve Winwood shows up for a version of Timmy Thomas' "Why Can't We Live Together"). Far more exciting are extended versions of Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue," Pharoah Sanders' "Light at the Edge of the World," Miles Davis and Joe Zawinul's "In a Silent Way," and John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" (one of several tunes featuring the sax legend's son, Ravi). McLaughlin never quite catches fire, but Hancock, Shorter, and Corea are astonishing, turning in solos that are marvelously unpredictable and adventurous models of chops and invention. It's all beautifully shot and recorded, making Hymns for Peace a must-have for fans of these extraordinary musicians, Santana included. --Sam Graham
On July 15, 2004, Santana took to the stage in Montreux accompanied by a stunning line-up of guests to perform a concert of songs about peace and understanding that they dubbed "Hymns For Peace". Joining the regular Santana line-up in the band were Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ravi Coltrane and Idrissa Diop with further guest appearances through the night from Angelique Kidjo, Barbara Morrison, Patti Austin, Sylver Sharp, Steve Winwood and Nile Rodgers.
Tracklisting: 1) Afro Blue 2) Adouma 3) Redemption Song 4) Exodus / Get Up Stand Up 5) Blowin' In The Wind / A Place In The Sun 6) Just Like A Woman 7) What's Going On 8) Peace On Earth / Boogie Woman 9) Why Can't We Live Together 10) Light At The Edge Of The World 11) Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord 12) Day-O (The Banana Boat Song) 13) Day Of Celebration 14) Ah Sweet Dancer / In A Silent Way 15) Jingo 16) A Love Supreme 17) Ode To Joy Bonus Features: Additional tracks: 1) One Love / People Get Ready 2) Imagine 3) Give Peace A Chance. Behind The Scenes footage and interview with Santana.