[Columbia EC 37158]
There's something for every type of Santana fan on Zebop! though a look at the credits will reveal that something drastic must have happened in the process of recording the LP. Keith Olsen, a veteran producer obviously chosen to call the shots for the Santana band's 12th album, either split the scene after three cuts were recorded or only came up with three songs that enabled Devadip to see the light. These also happen to be the last three recorded performances of backup guitarist Chris Solberg and pianist Alan Pasqua whose keyboard chores have been assumed by Richard Baker. Well, the rest of the album doesn't suffer and Devadip never needed another guitarist on stage with him in the first place.
I stopped bitching about the fact that Devadip's band had devolved into boring rock and roll years ago and though Zebop! certainly has its share of boring rock and roll, there are enough jazzy instrumentals to satisfy me. Santana has covered J.J. Cale's "The Sensitive Kind" and Cat Stevens' "Changes", and both cuts work well. "Winning", one of the Olsen cuts, doesn't even sound like Santana, which might be why Olsen was asked to leave. Santana's status as one of the best rock and roll bands on this planet was established due to the fact that even when the band rocks, it does so in a unique manner. On "Winning" the band sounds like a revamped Supertramp.
Most of you nave probably heard the fine single "Searchin" but I hope "E Papa Re" isn't released as a radio shorty. All we need this summer is a gang of roller skaters blaring some stupid jungle fantasy song on their tape machines. "Tales of Kilimanjaro" is a beautiful Latin instrumental in the tradition of Abraxas, and if you enjoyed the song "Europa", you'll love "I Love You Much Too Much". They're cut from the same mold.