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Santana Live in Montreux 2011
Studio: Eagle Rock  Entertainment Ltd.
Release Date: February, 2012
Review Date: February, 2012

I was first turned on to Santana as a 12 year kid in 1971.  I heard Black Magic Woman on the radio and was hooked.  Later that year, I received the Santana III album for Christmas.  I wore the thing out!  I’ve been following Carlos Santana’s career for almost 41 years since those days.

I was ecstatic when I received my copy of Santana Live At Montreux – especially when I saw that it had all the tunes that made me a fan of the Woodstock veteran and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 1998 inductee.  I’ve watched and love Carlos’ other DVD’s but I must say that Live in Montreux is, by (and so) far, my favorite.

Filmed in high-definition and recorded in DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital 5.1 and LPCM Stereo, the 2-DVD set is a virtual treasure chest contained in a 23-song show lasting over three hours.  The show was filmed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in beautiful Montreux, Switzerland, a place as timeless as Santana’s music performed on these discs.  As Santana says in the interview contained within the set’s Bonus Features, the venue and festival is “the concert concerts”.  Watching the video only rekindled my desire to again visit the beautiful city on “the Lake Geneva shoreline” (to quote Deep Purple).

In addition to Santana and his incredibly tight band serving up crowd favorites as only he (and they) can, he infuses his performance with riffs from iconic songs from the day.  To me, it symbolizes not only how interwoven the music is into the soundtrack of our minds and  youth, but also just how intertwined Carlos is into the musical fabric of society.

The aforementioned interview with Carolos is spectacular. Chris Cowey asks many of the same kinds of questions that I would ask.  Cowey also superbly interviews Carlos’ wife, Cindy Blackman Santana (whose intense drum solo featured in the show will leave your mouth gaping long after she’s finished).  A very special treat in the form of the husband/wife team of Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks as they add their skills to Make Somebody Happy/Right On Be Free. 

I highly recommend this concert DVD to hard core Santana fans, rock fans in general as well as serious musicians. I also recommend visiting the beautiful city of Montreux if you ever get the chance.  It will impact your life just as Santana’s music does.