'Santana: Live at Montreux 2011' [Blu-ray]
(Santana / Blu ray / NR / 2012 / Eagle Eye Media)
Overview: The Latin rock band Santana perform a selection of songs from their long career at Montreux in 2011. Founded by singer and guitarist Carlos Santana in the late 1960s, Santana remain active to this day and have enjoyed considerable success throughout their career.
Blu ray Verdict: Filmed in HD and recorded in DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital 5.1 and LPCM Stereo, 'Santana: Live at Montreux 2011' is an incredible musical treasure chest of all-things Santana! Filmed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in beautiful Montreux, Switzerland, he kicks off the ever-so-lovingly-long show with 'Spark Of The Divine,' before pacing himself through such classics as 'SOCC,' 'Back In Black,' 'Singing Winds, Crying Beasts,' and a mix of 'Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen.'
As is his way, Santana (dressed in a snappy white outfit) and his incredibly tight band serve up crowd favorites every single tune they perform, Whether they be hit singles, old favorites or album tracks, Santana plays them all as only he/they know to - empassioned and infused with known-by-all riffs.
As we progress onwards we get the bathed-in-red classic 'Oye Como Va,' which is backed by the recent new-classic of 'Maria, Maria.' Then come 'Foo Foo,' 'Corazon Espinado / Guajira,' and Benny and Cindy solo moment, before 'Jingo,' frames a moment for Carlos to speak to the audience.
Once his words have been heard, his reason for being there made clear, his love for them ALL understood, he moves on with 'Novus,' 'Europa (Earth's Cry, Heaven's Smile),' 'I Want You,' and both 'Batuka / No One To Depend On,' and 'Duende / Open Invitation.'
If you check out the interviews in the special features, Santana's love for Montreux and what he does for a living in general is abundant. The man IS music and this show proves it. As we head into the final third of this incredible Blu ray experience, we get such songs as 'Make Somebody Happy / Right On Be Free' (which also features the husband/wife team of Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks), 'Evil Ways / A Love Supreme,' a truly incredible version of 'Sunshine Of Your Love,' 'Smooth / Dame Tu Amor,' and 'Soul Sacrifice.'
Next up is a wonderful, tight drum solo from Carlos' drummer, Dennis Chambers (although through the night a certain Cindy Blackman Santana gives up an incredible drum solo too!), before the show comes to an end with 'Samba Pa Ti.' 'Into The Night,' and the duo mix of 'Love, Peace And Happiness / Freedom.' This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, and has been remastered into a crisp Blu ray production.