Before the 2013 tour, I finished my new single, “Rise Up”. It’s deep and heavy, and I spent a lot of time on it. I am a perfectionist and I always want to present myself as an artist as best as I can, so needless to say, it took a while to complete the track. “Rise Up” is about overcoming adversity and overcoming the things that hold us back. It was inspired by Nelson Mandela’s phrase, “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” I happened to stumble upon the quote and I feel that people need the motivation of its meaning in their lives. I hope the song will touch many people in a positive way. I’m so excited to be able to release “Rise Up,” and I hope everyone enjoys it.
When Salvador Santana issued his debut album in 2008 as SSB — an acronym for Salvador Santana Band — it was an eclectic if not particularly memorable recording. On Keyboard City, Santana hooked up with Money Mark to co-write and co-produce the album. There are other musical collaborators, but this is truly a solo album. The tunes are tighter, yet more complex than on his debut. Check “Video Game, Save My Life,” where slippery hip-hop beats, icy keyboards, Money Mark’s guitar, and sine wave generators rub up against rubbery basslines, drums (Santana’s own), and Alfredo Ortiz’s percussion to create a nocturnal, futurist vibe whose groove won’t quit. On “Under the Sun,” Ortiz and backing vocalist Dawn Bishop help him create a multi-layered, synth driven Latin-flavored pop tune with an airy, funky, Afro-Cuban vibe. It has backbone-slipping beats and a killer synthetic horn chart that sounds utterly natural. On the shimmering club jazz of the title track, Santana mans a vocoder and plays everything except hand percussion. It’s a stone killer. The spoken word and gospel groove on “This Day (Belongs to You)” could have been recorded by Build an Ark. Money Mark mans the bass; Joel Harper plays lap steel; and Ortiz adorns it tastefully with his righteous percussion skills. But it’s the backing vocals and ad libs — courtesy of Bishop and Sherry Pruitt over Santana’s drums and keyboards — that make it transcendent. A trace of Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit” is felt on tracks like “Truth Fears No Questions,” though exotic instruments such as kalimba, didgeridoo, and clarinet are employed giving it a more organic feel, stretching it past that influence. The straight-up funk-fused-with-hip-hop on “Salaboutthemoney” is dancefloor ready. Keyboard City is a vast improvement over its predecessor; it’s still wildly adventurous, but Santana is grounded in his approach to experimentation and more focused on groove consciousness even as musical and sonic ideas assert themselves freely in the mix.
The “Killers” soundtrack boasts a couple of interesting nuggets. Macy Gray kicks off the album with the debut of “Beauty In The World,” the first single for her forthcoming LP “The Sellout” which will hit stores on June 22nd. Salvador Santana has “Under The Sun.” The Faces’ “Ooh La La” — which will forever be seared in our memory to the beautiful closing of Wes Anderson’s “Rushmore” — also features on the set as does “Montego Sunset” by the excellent R&B/soul group Menahan Street Band whose members are better known for their role in The Dap Kings backing up Sharon Jones. Score composer Rolfe Kent closes out the set with some of his pieces for the film.
In this moving anthology the sons and daughters of pop music’s most legendary artists put a personal touch on the classic songs made famous by their fathers. It’s an emotional tribute to their Dads, connecting great songs between two generations. The unique artistry of Ben Taylor, AJ Croce, Salvador Santana, Jen Chapin, Ky-Mani Marley, Devon Allman and other talented offspring brings a freshness to these classic songs that’s all their own.
‘A Song For My Father’ is a powerful testament to the ties that bind and proof that sometimes musical genius runs in the family.
Featuring: Salvador Santana, Matthew & Gunnar Nelson, AJ Croce, Jen Chapin, Devon Allman’s Honeytribe, Louise Goffin, Ben Taylor, Ky-Mani Marley, Adam Cohen, Ivan Neville, Carnie & Wendy Wilson, Chynna Phillips, Spencer Gibb & 54 Seconds, Sarah Lee Guthrie