SAN­TANA

There are very few mu­si­cians who can ex­pand on that vo­cab­u­lary. It’s like a painter who only uses yel­low. They don’t cover the whole rain­bow

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page - NUI TE KOHA

Let’s get loud

CAR­LOS San­tana likes it loud.

He is fully amped, his new wife, Cindy Black­man, pumps up the vol­ume, too.

Gui­tar icon San­tana says: ‘‘ It’s great to be in a spir­i­tual re­la­tion­ship and a phys­i­cal re­la­tion­ship with a mu­si­cian who loves mu­sic the way I do – loud and soul­ful, soul­ful and loud.

‘‘ We get into a car and the first thing she says is: ‘ Oh, turn it up. Louder!’ We lis­ten to Miles and Coltrane.’’

San­tana adds: ‘‘ Most wives go: ‘ Oh, my ears hurt. Can you turn it down?’

‘‘ That’s when I think: ‘ Oh, man, I need to stop the car and call you a cab.’’

San­tana, 64, mar­ried Black­man, a drum­mer best known for record­ing and tour­ing with Lenny Kravitz, in 2010.

‘‘ I’ve al­ways been a gentleman,’’ San­tana says. ‘‘ But there is an­other side to be com­pleted.

‘‘ She is help­ing me clean my in­ner closet,’’ he says, then laughs: ‘‘ A lot of guys have a real messy closet, man.’’

San­tana is also purg­ing his pop ra­dio side on his new al­bum, Shape Shifter. It is an in­stru­men­tal record.

‘‘ It’s an op­por­tu­nity to tell sto­ries with my fin­gers,’’ he says.

‘‘ An in­stru­men­tal record is very easy for me to do.

‘‘ I get into a room with other mu­si­cians and say: ‘ Let’s go this way.’

‘‘ The other way – songs – is more like co- de­sign­ing and co- ar­rang­ing.’’

He says US pro­moter Bill Gra­ham and record la­bel gi­ant Clive Davis con­vinced him to do both.

‘‘ I could play 10 to 15 grooves and over­tures,’’ San­tana says.

‘‘ But Bill and Clive said they were moods, not songs.

‘‘ I asked them: ‘ What’s wrong with that?’ And they said: ‘ Noth­ing. But if you want to get on to ra­dio, you need a bal­ance. They were right. It’s about equi­lib­rium.’’

San­tana en­joys both sides, from jazz, blues and rock in­stru­men­tal pieces to pop hits like Maria Maria and Smooth.

‘‘ How can I not be con­nected to Smooth, man?’’ he asks.

‘‘ It’s one of the top songs ever on this planet. It’s like The Twist by Chuck Berry. Big­ger than The Bea­tles. How can I not like that?’’

‘‘ I’m al­most 65 and noth­ing is out­side the realm of pos­si­bil­ity. ‘‘ There are very few mu­si­cians who can ex­pand on that vo­cab­u­lary.

‘‘ It’s like a painter who only uses yel­low. They don’t cover the whole rain­bow.’’

Mostly San­tana is grate­ful for a ca­reer span­ning decades.

‘‘ My mother was on my case about it all the time.

‘‘ Ev­ery week, she would say: ‘ Re­mem­ber to al­ways be grate­ful be­cause God made you and peo­ple gave it to you.’

‘‘ That al­ways stayed with me.’’

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