All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

600

John McLaughlin and Carlos Santana: Love, Devotion and Surrender

Walter Kolosky By

Sign in to view read count
Quick! Name an album on which John McLaughlin plays piano and Jan Hammer plays drums. Give up? The answer: the much loved but often maligned 1973 collaboration between Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin, Love, Devotion and Surrender. (At this time John was still MAHAVISHNU and Carlos was not quite yet DEVADIP.) Now if anyone out there in musicland can determine on which cuts John McLaughlin played the piano and Hammer played the drums - you win a prize!

In 1973, Carlos Santana had become mesmerized by the music of the Mahavishnu Orchestra. His interest became so strong that he literally followed the band on tour across America. He and McLaughlin became friendly. One night John McLaughlin had a dream that the two should record an album together. He took that dream to Clive Davis, the head of Columbia Records, and Love, Devotion and Surrender was born.

LDS delivers some of the hottest playing you are ever going to hear. John McLaughlin and Carlos Santana play their respective butts off, especially on the inspirational "Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord". The rapid-fire machine gun bursts and call and responses make for an electric guitar Nirvana. Other musicians assembled for the recording included Santana compatriots Armando Peraza, Don Alias, Doug Rauch and Mike Shrieve. John McLaughlin brought along Jan Hammer, Billy Cobham and the legendary organist Larry Young. Imagine a Latin Mahavishnu Orchestra!

At the time of this recording’s release, the patience and reverence afforded gurus was waning. This could help explain the relatively poor sales of Love, Devotion and Surrender relative to expectations. After all a smiling Sri Chinmoy, in all of his splendid grandeur, was pictured on the album cover. It may also help explain the many negative reviews. In hindsight, you will probably find that most of these reviews came from Santana fans that just couldn’t figure out what was going on with their hero.

Despite all outward appearances, the fact of the matter was that this album pointed much more in the direction of John Coltrane than it did any guru or religious movement. Santana is, like McLaughlin, a devoted Coltrane admirer. McLaughlin and Santana even make the effort of trying to pull off “A Love Supreme,” and it works very well. (Even the vocals are effective). An acoustic treatment of “Naima” does the master proud, too. The other players are strong on all tunes. Cobham, in particular, is a powerhouse.

In recent years, Love, Devotion and Surrender has begun receiving the praise it so richly deserves. (Bill Laswell has even released a well-received remix.) LDS remains a milestone in the history of fusion music. We can only hope that McLaughlin and Santana will find an opportunity to record together again soon, something both men have hinted at.

Related link: John McLaughlin Reviews @ All About Jazz .


Track Listing: A Love Supreme; Naima; The Life Devine; Let Us Go Into The House of The Lord; Meditation

Personnel: John McLaughlin- guitar, piano; Carlos Santana- guitar; Larry Young- organ; Armando Peraza- congas; Billy Cobham- drums; Don Alias- drums; Jan Hammer- drums; Doug Rauch- bass; Mike Shrieve- drums

Title: Love, Devotion and Surrender | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Columbia Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Smart Grid CD/LP/Track Review
Smart Grid
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 16, 2018
Read Monochrome CD/LP/Track Review
Monochrome
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: July 16, 2018
Read Attitude Manouche CD/LP/Track Review
Attitude Manouche
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 16, 2018
Read Geometry of Caves CD/LP/Track Review
Geometry of Caves
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 16, 2018
Read This World of Dew CD/LP/Track Review
This World of Dew
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 16, 2018
Read Gegenschein CD/LP/Track Review
Gegenschein
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 15, 2018
Read "Fairytales" CD/LP/Track Review Fairytales
by Gareth Thompson
Published: April 21, 2018
Read "A Thing Called Joe" CD/LP/Track Review A Thing Called Joe
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 7, 2017
Read "Recent Developments" CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Fred Hersch Trio: Live in Europe" CD/LP/Track Review Fred Hersch Trio: Live in Europe
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 26, 2018
Read "Power Of Love" CD/LP/Track Review Power Of Love
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 13, 2018
Read "In-House Science" CD/LP/Track Review In-House Science
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 9, 2018