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Love The Way

Jorge Santana

Omnivore 2018

Review by David Bowling

 

Jorge Santana has had a late life musical rejuvenation lately. First came the re-issue of his early 1970’s albums with his band Malo, who combined hard rock elements with Latin rhythms. Now comes the reissue of his two late 1970’s solo albums under the title Love The Way: The Complete ’70s Recordings.

His 1978 self-titled release with the hit single “Love The Way,” was a commercial success. Former Malo alum Richard Bean was along for the ride as a co-writer and lead vocalist. It may not have been as heavy and hard rocking as the Malo albums but it was a smooth combination of American and Latin pop, with guitar licks curtesy of Jorge. The basic foundation is rock and roll but the production enabled it to fit in with the east coast disco scene.

The second release, 1979’s It’s All About Love, was produced by Allen Toussaint and the music shows his presence. It is more eclectic in nature and is grounded in the fusion of Latin funk and New Orleans jazz. Whether jams, acoustic, or tight structures; it is a potpourri of Delta rhythms.

Love The Way: The ’70s Solo Recordings resurrects the music of an artist who was able to fuse various musical styles and elements in unique ways. While Jorge Santana’s forays may not have changed the course of American music, it did provide two interesting interludes.

Rating: ***

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