Being the brother of someone already consecrated and famous, has never been easy, if not ask Chris Jagger and David Knopfler, both musicians without any repercussion.
Well, more or less the same thing happened to Jorge Santana, brother of Carlos Santana, although Jorge did taste the honeys of success with his group Malo and his success “Suavecito” in 1972. Like his brother, Jorge is a virtuoso of the guitar and his music is an extension of his relative, although Jorge used a distinctive green Fender Stratocaster guitar.
Malo debuted with a splendid work that had nothing to envy to those of his brother. Building on the same Latin build, with sharp guitars, sweaty hammond, and hot percussions. The group was based in San Francisco and it was the union of two bands like The Malibu and the Naked Lunch that gave birth to Malo. In their ranks, they highlight Luis Gasca, Pablo Tellez on bass, Abel Zarate who crosses guitars with Jorge and with Richard Kermode’s keyboards, not forgetting the great Coke Escovedo after the timpani.
The group achieved immediate success with the song “Suavecito”, such was the success among the Latino community that they dubbed the song; “The Chicano National Anthem”. Malo’s sound benefited from two guitars, which gave him that distinctive characteristic of the “twins guitars” bands. Likewise, the use of winds gave Blood Sweet and Tears an aftertaste. Also noteworthy is the splendid cover designed by John and Barbara Casado. This magnificent Latin Rock band deserves a little more respect than the one they received for being Santana’s brother. It is the perfect clone of his brother’s band, but with something a little different, the Latin rhythms are just at the limit of being tacky at times, but it is a great album to listen to full sun after Bob Marley’s “Exodus” and before Blood Sweat and Tears’ “Child is father to the man”.
After the first album many left the ship, some left with Blood, Sweat and Tears, Jaco Pastorius, others with Willie Bobo and the percussionist Richard Bean formed the group “Sapo” with his brother Joe, another band to be taken into account by the way . For his part, Jorge Santana embarked on a solo career and sometimes gathered some training under the name of bad guy. . He was on tour with his brother Carlos, from which the album, “Sacred Fire: Live in South America”, recorded in Mexico, was released.
In the mid-1970s he played with the Fania All-Stars. In 1994, he recorded, Hermanos Santana, an album with his brother and Carlos’s nephew, Carlos Hernández. In 1995 Malo released a new work titled “Miss”.
As a curiosity to point out that Jorge’s first album was produced by Tony Bongiovi, the brother of another Bon!
Just listen and enjoy that Jorge and his group were not so “Bad”.