Carlos Santana - guitar, percussion, vocals; Alex Ligertwood - guitar, percussion, vocals; Chester Thompson - keyboards, vocals; Karl Perazzo - percussion, vocals; Raul Rekow - percussion, vocals; Walfredo De Los Reyes - drums; Myron Dove - bass; Guests: Jorge Santana - guitar (tracks 2-4, 11-12); Ry Cooder - guitar (tracks 7-12); Steve Miller - guitar (tracks 9-12); Norton Buffalo - harmonica (track 12)
Bay Area music giant, guitar master, and Latin rock pioneer Carlos Santana is also well known for his devotion to humanitarian causes, and there are few causes more worthy of public attention than the plight of the native people of the Americas. The All Our Colors: The Good Road Concert, A Benefit for the Traditional Circle of Elders and Youth, was part of a weekend celebration at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California in October of 1992 commemorating 500 years of survival of the indigenous peoples of the western hemisphere. The event featured no shortage of big names - from Steve Miller to Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt - as well as a pow wow and indigenous artists, but Santana was the rock'n'roll headliner, and rightfully so.
Over the course of a blistering set that knocks it out of the park beginning with an Earth-themed medley, Santana and Co. sustain the energy throughout the performance. "Somewhere in Heaven" is introduced by Santana as a song concerning the personal power of positive vibration and, before vocalist Alex Ligertwood has even sung a note, the guitarist sufficiently proves his point by pulling out some significantly weeping and poignant fretwork that could draw emotion from a stone; this is followed by some jamming of the heaviest order.
"Viva La Vida (Life Is For Living)," a freedom song for Nelson Mandela, is performed here in all its exuberance, and it slides nicely into the classic "Savor," originally recorded for Santana's 1969 debut. There is the inevitable percussion show-down, a battle between longtime Santana sidemen Karl Perazzo and Raul Rekow, and the usual guitar heroism by the man himself.
Following this, the band is joined by guitarist Ry Cooder on "The Healer," originally recorded for the John Lee Hooker album of the same name. Carlos then invites Steve Miller to play some blues on the slinky "All Your Love" before everyone remains on stage to launch into "Sacred Fire," which turns into a completely psychedelic jam.
The show-closing "Exodus," - yes, the Bob Marley anthem - is a get-down, all-star affair that includes Miller sideman, Norton Buffalo, on harp. The song's peculiar slow fade provides an anti-climax to an otherwise energy-bursting night, though with that said, you couldn't choose better exit music than "Exodus." Santana knows how to rouse a crowd and he knows how to calm them down; his impulse to conjure one of the great moments in freedom song was a fine way to keep the traditions of indigenous peoples all over the world alive and singing.