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Santana Is Pure Joy
Aug 19th, 2015 by

The late Tito Puente made a few bucks last night. But more importantly, he would have been proud when Carlos Santana and his 10-piece band played a booming version of his ode to rhythm, “Oye Como Va,” which means “Listen to how my rhythm goes,” when you add the line “mi ritmo” after it.

I saw Tito Puente and his band at the Charles Ballroom in Harvard Square about 15 years ago. During that show he made a speech before playing that song, explaining how Santana made his song a hit and how at first he was a little angry and jealous, especially when audience members would say to him after his show, “you play Santana music.”

He said he used to argue with them and explain that he wrote that song and that Santana was playing Tito Puente music. “Until the royalty checks started rolling in. Now I tell them, ‘That’s right. I play Santana music!’,” he said right before his keyboardist started pounding on the opening chords to that song.

Santana is now an old master, but his chops on the guitar are as good as ever. Pure joy flows from it and he accentuates his guitar solos by offering the audience little treats:  a few riffs of classic songs thrown into the mix.

Last night, those little treats included a few riffs from “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “I’m With the In Crowd,” and “Layla.” He doled out many more and the audience, dancing in the aisles, ate them up.

Under the Summer Moon
Jun 19th, 2009 by

Video: Watch this Moonflower open up in real time.

Video: Watch this Moonflower open up in real time.

It’s not too late: not too late to start planning to see one of the most amazing natural phenomenon of summer. I’m talking about Moonflowers (includes audio).

They are the exact opposite of Morning Glories. Instead of blooming each morning, Moonflowers bloom each evening: large 6-inch or more white flowers pop open right before your eyes in a matter of a minute or two.

Video: Even Carlos Santana's guitar sang the praises of the Moonflower. (Photo courtesy of focusonthemusic.com on Flickr)

Video: Even Carlos Santana's guitar sang the praises of the Moonflower. (Photo courtesy of focusonthemusic.com on Flickr)

You can still get these babies at most local nurseries. I picked up a few at Mahoney’s in Winchester, along with a few Morning Glories. I like to plant them side-by-side and have them twine up along my 2 front-stair railings.

The Moonflower plant, just home from the nursery.

The Moonflower plant, just home from the nursery.

But the ideal place to plant them is somewhere you’ll be at night: maybe your back deck or patio or near your outdoor firepit, or perhaps along the fence of your swimming pool. That way you’ll be certain to see them.

And because they only take a minute or two to open each evening you can watch this phenomenon in less time than it takes you to finish that glass of Chianti. Cheers!

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