Carlos Santana & Gato Barbieri play Europa

Aged 20 I went on holiday to the south of France with 4 friends and the wonderful Carlos Santana tune Europa was being played on jukeboxes everywhere we went – It was from the album Amigos the seventh studio album by Santana released in 1976. Indeed, we played it so often in the bar we frequented during that holiday that we were asked to play some other tracks.

Some years later I came across the Argentinian jazz saxophone player Gato Barbieri via his 1976 album Caliente and was immediately taken with his rendition of Europa so imagine how great it was to find them playing this fine tune together! Here’s a couple of links to YouTube so you can delight in it too:-

Now what about the origins of Europa? It seems they are unclear or even possibly disputed as this link to Wikipedia notes:-

I would add that Barbieri’s Caliente album is superb all the way through, one of those rare albums that does not have a duff track on it at all. There’s a great rendition of Marvin Gaye’s ‘I want you’ on it. The only other album that comes to mind which is superb all the way through is Isaac Hayes’ To Be Continued.

Oh and one final thought on Europa – It would be a great tune for the Snake Davis Band to play.

My top 10 live music performances

My good friend and fellow blogger Phil Holden often posts about music and occasionally I do too. In recent times I have really begun to appreciate that the only way you can tell really great musicians is by how they perform live, so here are my 10 best live performances, in no particular order:-

Bobby WomackI Wish He Didn’t Trust Me So Much

Candy DulferDon’t Go

Isaac Hayes & Soul II SoulPapa was a Rollin’ Stone

Cris ReaJosephine

Joan Osborne & The Funk Brothers – What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted

Snake Davis Band – Going home – Theme from Local Hero

Isaac Hayes – ‘Your love is so doggone good’ from Wattstax 1972
I can’t track down a live video of this song so here’s the album version which, whilst being good, does not have the raw energy of the live performance at Wattstax in 1972 that’s available on CD

Keiko Matsui – Forever, Forever

The Rippingtons – She likes to watch

Bob James – Mind Games

For a bit on context I’ve seen Issac Hayes, The Rippingtons, Chris Rea, The Funk Brothers, Bob James and The Snake Davis Band live over the years.

Music Concerts – Stark difference between Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall and Playhouse2 in Shaw

Yes I know I am in some ways comparing chalk and cheese size-wise but I’ve seen live music at both venues in the past few weeks and Playhouse2 knocks spots off my Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall experience. I blogged about the live music I ‘endured’ at the Phil’ a while back and here’s a link to that posting:-

I suppose you could say that the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall is a medium sized venue for music these days, certainly nowhere near as large as the arena venues that have sprung up in recent times. My guess though is that the Phil’ are copying the way the arenas are run with booze being available most of the time and the toilets doing a roaring trade so to speak; it all seems about making money rather then quality music I would suggest.

Now turn to Playhouse2 in Shaw near Rochdale, a small venue, run by volunteers, refreshments only available before the show and at the interval. Sensible ticket prices, an audience that could hold their water, decent beer on tap and a great atmosphere. The act? The Snake Davis Band, high quality musicians playing jazz R&B and soul tunes.

I’m done with larger venues where drinking is the major activity, where you can’t see the act and where you treated like a credit card walking into the venue to be relieved of as much of your money as possible. Live music is a great experience but it is being ruined by booze and money making I’m sad to say. Give me Playhouse2 type venues any day.

Here’s what the Snake Davis Band is all about:-