Bill Laswell Shines Divine Light On Carlos Santana

'Rockit' co-writer reconstructs songs from guitarist's early-'70s jazz-fusion albums.

Two of Carlos Santana's early-'70s jazz-fusion LPs are getting the remix treatment from Bill Laswell, a studio wizard whose lengthy resume includes producing and co-writing Herbie Hancock's "Rockit."

On Carlos Santana: Divine Light, due July 31, Laswell intricately reconstructs nine songs off Love, Devotion, Surrender, the 1973 album on which Santana and guitarist John McLaughlin perform jazz-fusion versions of John Coltrane songs and original McLaughlin compositions, and 1974's Illuminations, featuring Coltrane's widow, keyboardist/harpist Alice, as Santana's principal collaborator.

Three years ago, Laswell's Panthalassa project created a dark, acid-jazz poem from swatches of three albums from Miles Davis' late-'60s/early-'70s fusion period — In a Silent Way, Get Up With It and segments from the On the Corner sessions.

Panthalassa: The Remixes, a collection of remixes by techno producers such as Doc Scott and DJ Krush, followed a year later.

Laswell has been a staple of New York's underground music scene since forming the jazz-funk-punk experimental group Material in 1979. His credit as either performer or studio technician appears on hundreds of albums, including works by Laurie Anderson, Bootsy Collins and Motörhead.

His latest offering is Warszawa by Praxis, a group that features Laswell; current Guns N' Roses guitarist Buckethead and GN'R drummer Brian "Brain" Mantia; and turntablists Mixmaster Mike, DXT and DJ Disk.

The track listing for Carlos Santana — Divine Light, according to a Columbia/Legacy spokesperson:

  • Angel of Air

  • A Love Supreme

  • Illuminations

  • The Life Divine

  • Naima

  • Angel of Sunlight

  • Bliss: The Eternal Now

  • Meditation

  • Bliss: The Eternal Now Return