Includes (Da Le) Yalleo with Dave Matthews; Love Of My Life with Everlast; Put Your Lights On; Africa Bamba; Smooth with Rob Thomas; Do You Like The Way with Lauryn Hill; Maria, Maria; Migra with Mana; Corazon Espinado; Wishing It Was with Eagle-Eye Cherry; El Farol; The Calling with Eric Clapton. 13 tracks.
The Arista debut of Carlos Santana and band gives fans of the soulful guitar vet two albums in one, but it's a decidedly good-news, bad-news proposition. First, there's a fine collection of late-'90s-model Santana--tastefully tooled songs driven by Latin jazz and Afro-Cuban rhythms ("[Da Le] Taleo," "Africa Bamba," "Migra," "Primavera," and the emotionally charged instrumental "El Farol") that allow Carlos plenty of elbowroom for his passionate soloing. Then there's the collection of tracks featuring a lineup of de rigueur alternative and hip-hop stars, including Dave Matthews
, Rob Thomas
, Lauryn Hill
, Wyclef Jean
, and Eagle Eye Cherry
. To their credit, Matthews ("Love of My Life") and Eagle Eye Cherry ("Wishing It Was") muster enough chemistry to make the fusion work. But the rest of the collaborations feel like an unnecessary stretch to reach out to a younger demographic that El Jefe has little trouble attracting on his own terms. --Jerry McCulley