Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Santana: Amigos [Columbia, 1976]
Bill Graham and David Rubinson augment Sri Chinmoy's everybody's-everything strategy with direct-hit tactics as Carlos resumes his attack on the rock marketplace. Greg Walker doubles credibly as soul man and sonero, and "Dance Sister Dance" is the band's all-time hottest original even if it is lifted form a universal salsa riff. As Armando Peraza proves (on "Gitano"), better salsa conservatism than samba impressionism. And as Carlos proves, better salsa than Wes Montgomery at his schlockiest or a tune called "Europa" that lives up to its name. B