S CBS 86020 Festival
Produced by David Rubinson & Friends, Inc.
in association with Devadip Carlos Santana and Tom Coster
Released on December 1976
Find it at GEMM
S CBS 86020 cover
[high resolution scan]

T he Frank Zappa-Carlos Santana Connection is often overlooked, but both guitarists were making outstanding if only politely received albums in the mid Seventies. (I was going to compare this to One Size Fits All, but to read the a posteriori accolades from online pundits is to infer a rabid reception that never was.) Maybe critics were turned off by the fact that Santana jettisoned his Amigos so quickly, but the Festival crowd was no mere band for hire. Areas and Coster were fully integrated into the fold by now, Leon Patillo had appeared on Borboletta, Raul Rekow would stick around for a while. Festival is the (yawn) usual mix of savvy Latin fusion with sublime funk (“Give Me Love”), spiritual journeys (“Revelations”), Americanized pop/rock music (“Let The Music Set You Free,” “Try A Little Harder”) and Carlos Santana’s searing guitar. It lacks a hit single but not personality, and any criticism to the contrary runs afoul of the fact that, while Santana albums may lately sound alike, they don’t sound like anything else out there. I’m not sure what the American immigration quota for Latin music is, but it’s got to be more than one album a year, and I’d just as soon make it a Santana album. From the opening samba whistle to the closing “Maria Caracoles,” Festival wears its Latin colors proudly; the lyrics are as likely to be sung in Spanish as English. The pop crossovers are rare and even at their most commercial (“Reach Up”) are still no less exotic than the music of Steely Dan. Festival is one of the finest mid-period Santana records; it goes off in several directions and comes back with gold every time.


  1. CARNAVAL    (Tom Coster/Devadip Carlos Santana)    2:16
  2. LET THE CHILDREN PLAY    (Devadip carlos Santana/Leon Patillo)    3:28
  3. JUGANDO    (Devadip Carlos Santana/Jose "Chepito" Areas)    2:12
  4. GIVE ME LOVE    (Pablo Tellez)    4:31
  5. VERAO VERMELHO    (Nonato Buzar)    5:00
  6. LET THE MUSIC SET YOU FREE    (Devadip Carlos Santana/Tom Coster/Leon Patillo/David Rubinson)    3:40
  7. REVELATIONS    (Tom Coster/Devadip Carlos Santana)    4:32
  8. REACH UP    (Devadaip Carlos Santana/Tom Coster/Leon Patillo/Paul Jackson)    5:22
  9. THE RIVER    (Devadip Carlos Santana/Leon Patillo)    4:55
  10. TRY A LITTLE HARDER    (Leon Patillo)    5:04
  11. MARIA CARACOLES    (Pello African)    4:34


CHEPITO AREAS -- timbales, congas, percussion
GAYLORD BIRCH -- drums, percussion, tympani
TOM COSTER -- all keyboards and synthesizers, percussion, background vocals
RAUL REKOW -- congas, percussion, background vocals
DEVADIP CARLOS SANTANA -- guitar, bass, percussion, background vocals
PABLO TELLEZ -- bass, maton, percussion, background vocals, lead vocals
Joel Badie -- background vocals
Al Bent -- brass arrangements
Paul Jackson -- bass (4,7)
Leon Patillo -- piano, lead vocals, background vocals
Julian Waters -- background vocals
Maxine Waters -- background vocals
Orin Waters -- background vocals
Francisco Zavala -- background vocals
David Singer -- cover art
Cosmic Sound-Delight -- photography
Fred Catero -- engineer
David Rubinson -- engineer

return to SANTANA discography

US December 1976 Columbia LP/CS/8T PC/PCT/PCA-34423 picture sleeve
UK/NET/POR December 1976 CBS LP/CS S CBS/40 86020 picture sleeve
AUSL/NZ 1977 Sony LP SBP-234945 picture sleeve
JPN 1976 CBS/Sony LP 25AP-333  
JPN 2006 Sony CD MHCP-1007 digital remaster


For more discographies visit...

© 2009 Connolly & Company. All rights reserved.