Santana Once Upon a Time

Sri Chinmoy with Santana and McLauglhlin

Spiritual reunion of Mahavishnu McLaughlin and Devadip Santana

Sri Chinmoy wearing a ski jacket

Sri Chinmoy wearing a ski jacket.

Carlos Santana meditating

Meditation

Santana and McLaughlin Love, Devotion, Surrender album cover

Men in white: Love, Devotion, Surrender

This record is notable for featuring these fine three men of international origins. The back cover shows from left to right John McLaughlin of U.K., Sri Chinmoy of East Bengal and Carlos Santana of Mexico. All three united through cosmic love channeled by Sri Chinmoy.

The front cover is not worthy of discussion. Two guys, pure as snow, pensive, looking at the earth they stand upon. Big deal. But the back and the inside photos are stellar. The back picture must have been taken in front of Sri Chinmoy’s house in upstate New York. The guru looks ecstatic. After all he is standing in fine company because both McLaughlin and Santana were quite established artists in 1973 when the record was released.

Sri Chinmoy’s tongue is sticking out. I can’t say why other than it must have some significance. He is filled with joy as if he’s been awarded a recording contract himself. There also must be a reason for the short pant leg and a white sock. However, the most interesting detail is his jacket. A closer inspection reveals that Sri Chinmoy is wearing a ski jacket. Poor circulation maybe?

The poses of McLaughlin and Santana are peculiar too. Santana looks like a five-year-old who wants to potty but doesn’t know how to bring it up to his parents.

The record is not bad although the only memorable track is the rendition of Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme.” It’s worth mentioning that both Santana and McLaughlin — each a superb musician immersed themselves in Far Eastern spirituality in the early seventies. For a while they went by the names of Carlos Devadip Santana and Mahavishnu John McLaughlin.

But that was then. Simpler times.

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