Carlos Santana reports that his long-awaited reunion project with the classic-era Santana band will be out on April 15.
The guitarist joined up with Neal Schon, keyboardist Gregg Rolie, percussionist Michael Carabello and drummer Michael Shrieve for the new 16-track release, which is titled Santana IV.
The project marks the first time the musicians have recorded together in 45 years. The album is, essentially, their follow-up to the Seventies-era albums Santana, Abraxas and Santana III.
“It was magical,” Santana says of the recording sessions. “We didn’t have to try to force the vibe—it was immense. From there, we then needed to come up with a balance of songs and jams that people would immediately identify as Santana.”
The reunion began several years back after Schon suggested to Santana that they make an album together. Santana liked the idea but proposed bringing in Rolie, Shrieve and Carabello for a reunion project. The resulting album reunites the group’s principle members; percussionist José “Chepito” Areas has not been mentioned in reports about the group’s reunion, and bassist David Brown, who played on the group’s albums from that period, died in 2000.
Schon originally announced the project’s completion in April 2015.
“We are wrapping up Santana IV this week,” Schon wrote on Facebook. “Sounds amazing!”
In a later comment, he added: “This record is going to take over the world. I hope management gets it together for us to tour as I WILL tour with Carlos either way. It’s way too happening not to. World domination once again.”
Santana performed at the 2015 Billboard Latin Music Awards, where he was honored with the Spirit of Hope award. Here’s his performance from the show, which opens with “Black Magic Woman,” the Fleetwood Mac track with which Santana scored a hit in 1970.