Numerous jazz musicians incorporated elements of rock into their music during the 1970s, creating "jazz-rock fusion." However, among rock musicians only Carlos Santana returned the favor, bringing elements of jazz into a rock structure --- "rock-jazz fusion", if you will. While his efforts were not as commercially successful as his so-called Latin Rock, his willingness to ignore the artificial barriers between musical styles resulted in some classic recordings.
In this 2004 concert, Santana assembles an impressive cast of guest stars, mostly jazz musicians, for an extravaganza that covers rock, jazz, reggae, blues, soul, pop, and concludes with a tribute to Ludwig van Beethoven. This is the first time I've seen jazz luminaries like Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, and Wayne Shorter jam on pieces like Bob Marley's "Exodus" and Santana's "Jingo". The distinction between musical labels is rapidly erased, and the result is a heady brew.
Of course, this approach isn't for everyone. If you're looking for a Santana concert, this isn't it. There's very little Santana material; the rest is covers, ranging from Miles Davis and John Coltrane to Bob Marley and Bob Dylan. There is one piece from "Supernatural" (a magnificent Celebration Day), plus "Jingo" and the obscure "Let the Music Speak for Itself." For a traditional Santana concert, try Supernatural Live or Sacred Fire (a concert recorded a few years before Supernatural).
With so many performers involved, the result could have been a disastrous mess, but it all works smoothly, and the 2 hr. 40 min. concert goes by quickly. (There are three additional tracks under the bonus features, covering Bob Marley's "One Love" and John Lennon's "Imagine" and "Give Peace a Chance.") Not every track is gripping, and I imagine I'll skip a couple the next time I watch it. But most of it is exhilirating.
The Blu-Ray disc looks and sounds spectacular, which adds to the fun.
Again, this is not a Santana concert in the ordinary sense, but if you're interested in an eclectic blend of diverse musical styles, featuring some of the world's finest musicians, you should give this one a try.