Santana IV, the new studio album reuniting most of Santana’s early-’70s lineup, arrived in stores on Friday. The project brought Carlos Santana back together with guitarist Neal Schon, singer/keyboardist Gregg Rolie, percussionist Michael Carabello and drummer Michael Shrieve collectively for the first time since 1971’s Santana III.
“I feel really grateful on all accounts,” Carlos tells ABC Radio about the reunion. “It’s a real miracle to get a second chance after 45, almost 50 years that we did this.”
Carlos credits Schon, who played with Santana from 1970 to 1972 before forming Journey, with being the project’s catalyst.
“He reached out to me with such graciousness that my heart just surrendered to him,” admits Santana.
Schon tells ABC Radio that he relentlessly pursued Carlos trying to get him to do the album, and he’s thrilled that it eventually paid off.
“It was something I wanted to do, and it’s happened now,” he notes. “If you really want to do something you just cannot take no for an answer.”
As for the making of the album, most of the songs came together through jamming live in the studio, which Rolie says was similar to the way that the band used to work on music.
Rolie tells ABC Radio that reuniting with his old band mates to make Santana IV “was kind of like riding a bicycle, because the first day we got together…[w]e ended up playing for about six hours, and it was just nonstop, one idea after another.”
Carabello says he had a similarly positive experience making the record.
“We all just seemed to get along really well musically,” he tells ABC Radio, “and what we’ve learned over the years…we’ve all brought that back to the table with a lot of compassion.”
Santana IV is filled with songs that harken back to the band’s classic early work, but with fresh energy and a modern sonic sheen. Among the standout tracks is the Rolie-penned “Anywhere You Want to Go,” which is reminiscent of the group’s 1971 hit “Oye Como Va.” The album also showcases Santana and Schon’s blazing guitar work.
The Santana IV lineup just played three joint shows with Journey this past week, although they have no other official dates scheduled yet.
Schon, however, seems confident that the reunited version of the group will keep going. “I think it’s just the beginning of a new beginning for Santana IV,” he tells ABC Radio.