GREGG ROLIE BAND
To call Gregg Rolie a musical legend is a ridiculous understatement. After all, this is a man who co-founded not one, but two legendary rock bands - the astounding rock / Latin fusion of Santana and the greatest melodic rock band ever, Journey. He was in Santana up to and including "Caravansarai" (aka the good years), before heading off with guitarist Neal Schon to found Journey, going from their jazz fusion roots, through the peaks of their melodic rock success, before leaving in 1981, when they were at their commercial peak.
The eighties saw a couple of solo albums, as well as a return to Santana for the "Freedom" and "Shango" albums. The nineties saw him forming the under-rated The Storm, whose two albums of mainstream, melodic rock are well worth checking out. Come 2001, and he put out his finest solo album, "Roots", a record I still play on a weekly basis.
This live album was recorded back in 2007 and saw Rolie back with fellow Santana co-founder Michael Carabello, former Santana bassist Alphonso Johnson and the son of original Santana percussionist Jose Chepito Areas, Adrian Areas. You won't be surprised, therefore, to learn that the music performed leans heavily on the material they helped create and perform in the late sixties and early seventies, when Gregg Rolie was the voice, as well as the keyboards, of Santana.
Songs like 'No One To Depend On', 'Gypsy Queen' and 'Oye Como Va' are some of the most life affirming music ever. Works of pure emotion, and with a band this good, still cause a shiver to run down my spine after all this time. A couple of tracks from the "Roots" album slot in seamlessly beside the older material. Rolie is still in fine voice, and the whole album is an absolute treat.
The band even gets to kick out the jams on a ten minute plus version of Deadric Malone's blues classic 'As The Years Go Passing By, giving guitarist Kurt Griffet a chance to show off. However, once the percussion kicks in, I can guarantee you've never heard a version quite like this one.
With Carlos Santana having gotten bogged down in his all-star albums of diminishing returns, this performance and this band comfortably outshines anything he's put his name to in recent years. It's 40 years since the Santana band tore up Woodstock, so there's no better time to take another listen to some of the finest music ever written.
:twisted :twisted :twisted :twisted 1/2 / 4.5 out of 5Download @ Amazon