Santana: Carlos Santana (guitar, bass, percussion, background vocals); Leon Patillo (vocals, piano); Pablo Tellez (vocals, bass, percussion); Tom Coster (keyboards, synthesizer, percussion, background vocals); Paul Jackson (bass); Gaylord Birch (drums, tympani, percussion); Chepito Areas (congas, timbales, percussion); Raul Rekow (congas, percussion, background vocals); Julia Waters, Maxine Waters, Orin Waters, Francisco Zavala, Joel Badie (background vocals).
Recorded at Wally Heider Recording, San Francisco, California.
Brazilian pop and late-'70s soul-rock are in abundance on the groovy, feel-good FESTIVAL. Except for constants like Raul Rekow and Chepito Areas forming the bedrock of the Santana percussion section, the roster of faces making up the Santana band began an ongoing metamorphosis after the original Woodstock lineup. Here, the star of the vocal numbers is the always-striking yet reassuringly soulful Leon Patillo, while Tom Coster continues his tenure at the keyboard/synth-helm. Unlike the material on BARBOLETTA of only a few years prior, however, the core lineup is the same and yet most of the lyrical content here consists of spare, feel-good mantras rather than more developed verses.
It's all about fiesta-time a la Rio de Janeiro on the title track, with its pulsing samba percussion and bilingual, choral party invitations. With a typically seamless transition, the band glides into even more Spanglish positivity on "Let the Children Play," with sliding rhythms and Hammond organ reminiscent of "Evil Ways." The light and sunny "Give Me Love" displays Carlos's clear fondness for soulsters like Al Green. "Revelations" is another addition to Carlos's treasured line of poignant instrumental ballads like "Europa," featuring you-know-who tearing it up in a sublime moment of electric abandon.