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Latin rock, a stylistic hybrid built on a psychedelic foundation, but punctuated by jazz fusion and Latin elements, originated in the late 1960s along the Pacific Coast of California. Its most notable pioneer, Carlos Santana, was largely responsible for the Jimi Hendrix-inspired guitar pyrotechnics at the core of the sound. The rhythms--which were tight, metallic, and Caribbean in origin--required two or three musicians to work a standard drum kit and augmented percussion section, including timbales, congas, etc.

The genre reflected the spread of psychedelic culture to working-class and minority youth. When the energy of that movement dissipated, Santana played a major role in nudging Latin rock in the direction of jazz fusion. At points when his music appeared to have gotten too ethereal, however, Santana always could be counted on to re-explore the genre's street-based dance rhythms.


Top Artists and Their Recordings

Malo--Malo (1972); Dos (1972); Evolution (1973); Ascension (1974)

Mandrill--Mandrill Is (1972); Composite Truth (1973); Just Outside of Town (1975); Solid (1975); Beast From the East (1976); Mandrilland (1976); Mandrill (1977); We Are One (1978); New World (1978); Getting in the Mood (1980)

Santana(, Carlos)--Santana (1969); Abraxas (1970); Carlos Santana With Buddy Miles (1971); Santana III (1972); Caravanserai (1972); Love Devotion Surrender (1973); Welcome (1974); Illuminations (1974); Borboletta (74); Lotus (1975); Amigos (1976); Festival (1977); Moonflower (1977); Oneness (1979); Inner Secrets (1979); Marathon (1979); Swing of Delight (1980); Zebop (1981)

Jorge Santana--Jorge Santana (1976)