Ultimate Santana - sheet music Guitar Tabs for Ultimate Santana. Includes "Oye Como Va" and "Black Magic Woman."

Ultimate Santana

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Guitar Tabs
Following the release of his comeback trio (Supernatural, Shaman, and All That I Am), Carlos Santana released Ultimate Santana, a retrospective of the legendary guitarist's phenomenal career, plus a few new songs. It's an interesting collection, though a bit uneven, and "ultimate" may be more of a marketing ploy than an accurate description of the album.

Early Santana
Ultimate Santana

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This latest album by Santana is a unique proposition for Carlos: the combination of early and recent hits. While it doesn't represent the entire breadth of his career, it does provide a collection of songs representing the widest time span of any of Santana's albums.

Hearing the early classics like "Evil Ways" and "Samba Pa Ti" along more recent offerings such as "Smooth," "Maria Maria," and "Into the Night" gives listeners a glimpse of just how far the master of Latin rock has come, while maintaining his trademark sound. For that reason alone, Ultimate Santana is a legitimate addition to any collector's library -- and especially worthwhile for those who don't own both the early and later albums from which the selection of songs is drawn.

It's certainly nice to see the classic Santana hits included on this CD, and will hopefully serve to introduce more recent Santana fans to "Evil Ways," "Black Magic Woman," "Oye Como Va," and the lyrical "Samba Pa Ti." And, although there are numerous live recordings of these songs, the producers wisely decided to stick to the better-known studio versions.

Also welcome are the two songs from Santana III, featuring a young Neal Schon (of Journey fame) on guitar. "Everybody's Everything" and "No One To Depend On," while not the chart busters that the aforementioned three are, still rock with Santana's classic combination of uptempo blues and Latin flavors.

Ultimate Europa?

While "Europa" is Carlos Santana's best-known instrumental and arguably one of the most beautiful songs he ever wrote (co-wrote, actually, with keyboardist Tom Coster), the choice to include the original, studio version (from Amigos) is confusing. Besides that recording, two other tracks, recorded live, are much more powerful and compelling. 1977's Moonflower version of Europa is quite good, but even that is superseded by the track on 1993's Sacred Fire, which is fantastic.

Mirroring the popular success of Santana's albums, this is the only track included on Ultimate Santana from albums released between 1972 and 1999 -- a 27-year stretch during which Santana put out a lot of interesting music, but never reached the popular success of his early albums. Until, that is, the launch of Supernatural.

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