By Jim Johnson

Coming on April 15th is the long-awaited Santana reunion album featuring the band’s classic original lineup. Along with Carlos Santana, the upcoming Santana IV (4) album features the return of keyboardist Gregg Rolie, guitarist Neal Schon, percussionist Michael Carabello, and drummer Michael Shrieve for the first time since 1971’s multiplatinum Santana III set.


According to, “Santana IV features 16 all-new tracks written and produced by the band that burst with the same unparalleled energy and superlative musicianship that made Santana a pioneering force in world music and a household name across the globe. Joining the core Santana IV band in the studio are current Santana members Karl Perazzo on percussion and Benny Rietveld bass, with the legendary vocalist Ronald Isley guesting on two cuts. The album’s first single ‘Anywhere You Want To Go’ will be released on February 5th.”

  • Back in 2013, Carlos Santana first revealed that plans were underway for a new album featuring himself, Schon, keyboardist Gregg Rolie, percussionist Mike Carabello, and drummer Michael Shrieve. Founding bassist David Brown died in 2000 and the reasons why longtime percussionist Jose “Chepito” Areas, who performed with the band through 1980, is absent have yet to be revealed.
  • Neal Schon joined the original lineup in 1971 at age 17 in time for that year’s Santana III, after which Carabello and Brown quit. After 1972’s Caravanserai, Schon and Rolie left to form Journey. The new, unnamed album will marks the first time the core members have recorded together in 43 years.
  • When we last caught up with Neal Schon, we asked him how the sessions were progressing with the classic 1972 lineup of Santana: “Yeah, we’re finishing up. I’m actually in the studio and him and I are finishing up guitar overdubs — we’re re-doing couple of little live solos — but pretty much it was, y’know, on the sly, and everybody playing in a room and it couldn’t have been more organic, and it sounds really, really good. It just sounds like the old band and we picked up where we left off — and it sounds like Santana.”
  • Schon went on to say that the new album makes him feels as though it’s the ’70s all over again: “And I love playing with Carlos, y’know, we’re havin’ a blast together. The whole band is really great. Gregg Rolie sounds amazing, y’know, Michael Carabello, Michael Shrieve, Benny (Rietveld) — his bass player, Karl Perazzo; y’know, it’s a great group.”
  • So far no dates have been announced for the reunited early-’70s lineup of Santana.


  • On August 28th, 2013, Santana co-founders Carlos Santana and keyboardist Gregg Rolie joined former bandmate Neal Schon onstage during Journey‘s concert at Las Vegas’ Pearl Theater at the Palms Hotel and Casino.
  • Rolie, who along with Schon split Santana following the sessions 1972’s Caravanserai to form Journey, took the lead on the band’s two signature tunes, “Black Magic Woman” and “Evil Ways.”

CHECK IT OUT: Santana in 1971 performing “Jungle Strut” live on Germany’s Beat Club:


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