Personnel: Carlos Santana (guitar); Mahavishnu John McLaughlin (guitar, piano); Larry Young (organ); Doug Rauch (bass); Billy Cobham, Don Alias,
Jan Hammer, Mike Shrieve (drums); Armando Peraza (congas).
Recorded in 1972. Originally released on Columbia (32034). Includes liner notes by Hal Miller.
Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin are two of jazz-rock's finest guitarists, virtuosos who temper their fire with deep spirituality. This album is a summit meeting between the two string wizards and their respective bands; Santana's percussionists mix it up with Jan Hammer and Billy Cobham of the Mahavishnu Orchestra. The guitarists created this album as a tribute to their then-guru, spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy. The passion and purity of their belief in Chinmoy's teachings is matched by the technical facility that could only have come from the discipline their faith provided them.
Two Coltrane pieces open up the album. Santana and McLaughlin enter with all guns blazing, breathing electric fire on a raucous version of "A Love Supreme," given a '73-vintage fusion overhaul. Things get acoustic and contemplative on Coltrane's "Naima." Two blazing, all-out shredfests follow, with death-defying fretwork from both of the principals. Things close out on a reflective note with the short, gentle, acoustic-based "meditation." LOVE DEVOTION SURRENDER is a classic of the first and greatest jazz-rock era, recommended to fans of the leaders' aforementioned bands, as well as aficionados of the Tony Williams Lifetime and Miles Davis's BITCHES BREW, both of which featured McLaughlin.
Rolling Stone (8/2/73, p.47) - "...this music is rock; loud and insistent, it depends on monochord drones and simple modes for its structure and on sheer screaming force for much of its effect..."
Uncut (magazine) (p.83) - "In retrospect, tracks such as their version of Coltrane's 'A Love Supreme' and the 16-minute 'Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord' sound radical and transcendent."
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