Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Soul Sacrifice, Santana (1969)

I’m a sucker for instrumentals. In my senior year of high school, my inner Latina was seized by the final cut of Santana’s debut album – the 6+ minute jam, Soul Sacrifice. It would be hard to calculate the number of hours I spent in my room rocking out to this transcendent wonder. I honestly believe it would be possible to cure depression if you mainlined this song.

One of Woodstock's most memorable performances, Soul Sacrifice showcased Carlos Santana's virtuosity as well as introduced the then 19-year-old drummer Michael Shrieve, a force of nature if there ever was one. Says Shrieve, on his web site:

"We were the right band at the right time. Our street gang tribal rhythms were perfect for the Woodstock tribe that day. Another year later and we're touring more, our first record is out and the Woodstock movie is opening in theaters across the country. Santana is playing in New York and our first day off we go to see the movie. We didn't know if we were going to end up in the film or not. After all, we were the unknown group there that day.

"Halfway through the movie there we are playing Soul Sacrifice. Halfway through into my drum solo the screen splits and there are 6 images of me across it. I didn't know whether to shout out, 'That's me!' or sink down in my seat. I sank down in my seat and watched and listened. At the end of the song the whole theatre burst into applause, as the 6 of us turned in our seats and looked at each other in laughter and surprise."

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