Personnel: Carlos Santana (vocals, acoustic, electric & 12-string guitars, percussion); Raul Rekow (vocals, congas, percussion); Orestes Vilato (vocals, timbales, percussion); Alex Ligertwood (vocals); Russell Tubbs (flute, soprano & tenor saxophones); Wayne Shorter (soprano & tenor saxophones); Herbie Hancock (piano, Fender Rhodes piano, Clavinet, keyboards, synthesizer); Ron Carter (acoustic bass); David Margen (bass); Tony Williams, Harvey Mason, Graham Lear (drums); Armando Peraza (congas, bongos, percussion); Francisco Aguabella (congas).
Recorded at The Automatt, San Francisco, California.
In the face of the Santana band's more poppish outings, THE SWING OF DELIGHT marks a striking return to Carlos' exploratory, instrumental roots in the form of a potent fusion session. The extraordinary ensemble here is like a Santana-Headhunters encounter, featuring such jazz geniuses as Herbie Hancock on keyboards, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams. With his newfound title of Devadip, Carlos' vibrant spiritual life permeates every aspect of the recording, not surprisingly including the album title, which takes its name from a poem by Indian guru Sri Chinmoy.
Carlos delivers a tender and pleading solo take on the "Love Theme From 'Spartacus,'" in which the boys gradually fall in to offer tangy, bluesy solos by Hancock and Shorter. "Phuler Matan" opens with the rare treat of Carlos on acoustic guitar, soon yielding to a rich pan-Asian-Middle-Eastern melodic jaunt. "Gardenia" is a bright, easy-rolling piece that features Carlos's more delicate brand of shredding and the ebb-and-flow of Carter's elastic bass work. "Golden Hours" has a breezy flute melody and driving electric funk bass, with sparkling Rhodes and flute solos that yield to one of Hancock's signature synth-voodoo breaks and a ripping solo by Carlos.