Love The Way

Jorge Santana

Omnivore, 2018

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Jorge Santana has had a late life musical rejuvenation. First came the reissue of his early 1970s albums with his band Malo, who combined hard rock elements with Latin rhythms. Now comes the reissue of his two late 1970s solo albums under the title my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Love The Way: The Complete '70s Recordings.

His 1978 self-titled release with the hit single "Love The Way" was a commercial success. Former Malo alum Richard Bean was along for the ride as a co-writer and lead vocalist. It may not have been as heavy and hard rocking as the Malo albums, but it was a smooth combination of American and Latin pop, with guitar licks curtesy of Jorge. The basic foundation is rock n’ roll, but the production enabled it to fit in with the East Coast disco scene.

The title track, and “Oh Tengo Suerte” were creative fusion pieces but very danceable. Bean and Santana worked well together, and this music shows their growth since Malo disbanded.

The second release, 1979's It's All About Love, was produced by Allen Toussaint and the music shows his presence. It is more eclectic in nature and is grounded in the fusion of Latin funk and New Orleans jazz. Whether jams, acoustic, or tight structures, it is a potpourri of Delta rhythms.

The music is upbeat, and the deep rhythms set the foundation for some of the best guitar work of Santana’s career. “Feeling Good” is a toe tapper while “New York, New York” has layers of percussion.

Love The Way: The '70s Solo Recordings resurrects the music of an artist who was able to fuse various musical styles and elements in unique ways. While Jorge Santana's forays may not have changed the course of American music, it did provide two interesting interludes.

Rating: B

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