Carlos Santana and Ottmar Liebert+Luna Negra In Concert

By Nokhanya (L'cinda Scott-McCall) ©1996-1999

Joy and celebration were the order of the day when Carlos Santana, Ottmar Liebert + Luna Negra performed at Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, about 35 miles south of San Francisco. It was a joyous gathering of the fans.

It was a festive day as many of the concert goers celebrated Mexican Independence Day. And, the audience made it perfectly clear that the San Francisco Bay Area is Carlos Santana and Ottmar Liebert country...as it gave them a warm, exuberant welcome.

Mingus Amungus, a San Francisco jazz/funk group which started the festivities off, rocked the audience with some very nice rhythm grooves. And the Independence celebration continued with beautifully costumed multicultural dancers...including some Brasilian capoeira dance moves...that created a veritable rainbow of movement to music.

Ottmar Liebert walked bare footed onto the stage and mellowed the mood nicely...as he serenely and tranquilly touched the souls of concert goers with his own very special brand of multi-rhythms, polyrhythms. Ottmar held the audience/fans in a peaceful/joyful state, as he smilingly, blissfully performed...as the million-fingered guitar virtuoso strummed the strings and rendered million-fingered string favorites that rousingly moved the concert goers...brought

them to their feet...clapping as he played such compositions as "Duende Del Amor," "Barcelona Nights," "Heart Still Beating," "Bombay," and "Snake Charmer." At the end of Ottmar's set, the audience applauded and gave him a uproarious standing ovation...and, he smiled and gave a bow in return.

After a brief intermission, Santana smiling warmly took to the stage and commenced a nonstop, three hour voyage through the cosmic realm of rock, jazz, blues, rhythm & blues, reggae and beyond...a journey of joy through sound for a welcoming audience that had made a pilgrimage to Shoreline Amphitheatre to hear the global, spirit conscious, music of Carlos Santana...to revel in joyous, spirit uplifting, soul satisfying music...powerful, magical music.

Carlos encouraged, exhorted concert goers to create--to have joy in their lives. And, the joy he felt...the beauty he created, his spirit of giving and sharing through his music...filled, permeated the air. Carlos launched into a half hour of rhythm movers...that included homage to the spirits of legendary creative beings past and present.

Then Carlos invited Ottmar to be seated in the chair of honor...and Liebert joined him in performing a magnificent, aesthetically masterful, acoustic rendition of Joaquin Rodrigo's "Concierto De Aranjuez." And then came the piece de resistance...a superbly outstanding version, a complementary duet of Santana's classic composition, "Samba Pa Ti"...that was impeccable...singularly exquisite.

Santana followed the duet with Ottmar with mini-sets featuring other friends...Mingus Amungus and Gregg Rolie, who reminiscingly performed a marvelous version of "Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen"...and Carlos' brother, Jorge Santana, who played a passionate guitar solo.

The evening was a kaleidoscopic soundscape...a musical journey into sound and a tribute to music and song and word (acknowledging such music icons as Miles Davis and John Coltrane) to some stellar creative artists that included Marvin Gaye ("I Want You," "Right On"), Stevie Wonder ("Another Star"), Bob Marley ("Get Up, Stand Up," "Exodus"), Manu Dibango ("Soul Makossa"), and James Brown. ("This Is A Man's World"... but it wouldn't be nothing without a woman or a girl.") As the spirits continued to soar the audience stood, clapped, danced and sang along as Santana launched into all time favorites such as "Oye Como Va."

With the spirit of joy and celebration still in the air...Carlos invited musicians' children...the future...to close the performance...by joining in a rhythmic, moving version of Babatunde Olatunji's "Gingoloba."

Carlos Santana, Ottmar Liebert...two ultra creative beings...and a super talented cast of musical artists created extraordinary music, memories and moments of joy...with an afternoon and evening of magical music.