Carlos Santana has a way of playing the guitar which is almost a fingerprint. There are certainly other smooth, Latin influenced guitarists out there, and many of the other top guitarists would be able to play the stuff technically speaking.
But he has his own style, a smooth and slightly exotic sound crafted for a South American sunset.
Santana is the name of the band he has most often played in, and it’s there where the Latin influence tends to come in, through the skilful use of percussion.
“Europa” is a very beautiful song. As it’s an instrumental, it really brings Carlos Santana’s guitar mastery to the fore, such that the rest of the song becomes a warm and buttery support structure for the dulcet tones of the guitar.
The latter half of the song is much faster, and the various elements of the song click into place. The bass jives confidently, the organ remains steadfastly harmonious, the drums kick into another gear. It’s an epic piece of work.
The song was released in 1976 on the album Amigos.