Santana and John McLaughlinLove Devotion Surrenderon Numbered Edition Hybrid SACD from Mobile Fidelity
Meeting of Two Masters Yields Spiritual Transcendence
1973 Jazz Fusion Smash Mastered from the Original Master Tapes: Dynamics, Tones, Textures Rise to the Surface
Aural Nirvana Inspired by John Coltrane and the Guitarists’ Search for Enlightenment
Two guitar giants. A collective band comprised of virtuosic instrumentalists. One shared goal. And one tremendous album, commonly referred to as the equivalent of aural nirvana.Still the only meeting of Santana and John McLaughlin,Love Devotion Surrendermore than lives up to the promise offered by its principal creatorsas it’s a spiritual journey based in divine faith, religious toleration, and the forward-thinking philosophy that music can take us closer to the truth. These enlightening concepts are reflected in the playing ofSantanaandMcLaughlin, who repeatedly hit a higher plane on this stunning 1973 set.
Remastered from the original analog master tapes,Love Devotion Surrenderbenefits from Mobile Fidelity’s meticulous engineering, with the windows on the finite give-and-take passages, sustained notes, and acoustic textures thrown open on hybrid SACD with palpable transparency and exquisite detail.Brimming with atmospheric textures, three-dimensional spaciousness, and sterling microdynamics, this version follows on the heels ofMobile Fidelity’sdefinitive, critically acclaimed editions ofSantana,Abraxas, andCaravanserai.
Having each become a follower of Indian guruSri Chinmoy,SantanaandMcLaughlinbegan playing together in 1972, with each legend currently in the midst of personal and creative transition.Santanawas moving away from rock-based songs in favor of exploratory jazz-rock fusion.McLaughlinhad already achieved fame with theMahavishnu Orchestra, on the brink of collapse due to disagreements within the band. OnLove Devotion Surrender, the duo pools its interest in spirituality and transcendence into expressively gorgeous art steeped in improvisational lines, ecstatic chords, and sensitive organ accompaniment courtesy of the record’s best-kept secret,Larry Young.
In addition to the search for sacred soulfulness, the common denominator throughout isJohn Coltrane, who engaged in similar pursuits during the 1960s. Two of the five compositions are interpretations ofColtranestandards while the lynchpin, a nearly 16-minute investigation into the traditional “Let Us Go Into the House of the Lord,” seamlessly integrates melodic structure, jazz phrasing, gospel mysticism, and tonal shaping into one of the most hopeful and uplifting pieces of music you’ll ever hear.
Laden with delicate acoustic touches and gentle piano touches as well as powerful staccato bursts and fast-paced bongo percussion,Love Devotion Surrendercontains a highly dynamic mix of tempos, textures, and contrasts that have never shone like they do onMobile Fidelity’snumbered, limited-edition hybrid SACD.This audiophile edition brings the performers’ spirituality to the fore with extraordinary realism, while the pinpoint imaging—Santana primarily on the left, McLaughlin on the right—allows each musicians’ contributions to soar. If you’re a fan of the guitar, jazz, or music that literally elevates you to an ethereal place, this is a must.
"This SACD…joins the ranks of several '70s jazz LPs have come alive on digital and LP remasterings in the 21st century, the products of more sensible mastering.Th[e] newly buffed up SACD mastering from Rob LoVerde is equally fine and improves upon the original LP in similar ways. You can now turn the music up (and this music calls for it) without having your whole system plunge into a sea of distortion." – Dennis Davis,The Audio Beat
Santana and John McLaughlinLove Devotion SurrenderTrack Listing:
"A Love Supreme" (John Coltrane) – 7:48
"Naima" (John Coltrane) – 3:09
"The Life Divine" (John McLaughlin) – 9:30
"Let us Go Into the House of the Lord" (Traditional) – 15:45