A vibrantly illustrated biography of the groundbreaking musician.
Carlos Santana is born in Jalisco, Mexico, in 1947. His young life is spent watching his musician father and playing alongside him but never being satisfied. His father is a mariachi player who travels often, but Carlos is more inspired by the blues music he’s hearing from north of the border. When his father leaves to work in the United States, Carlos is free to set his violin down and pick up an electric guitar. As he grows as a musician, he develops a sound that marries traditional Mexican music with American jazz and blues. Sweeping, colorful illustrations by the artist who designed one of Santana’s album covers convey mood well and recall Mexican murals. The pictures invite a wide age range of readers, but the text, written in present and future tense, is awkward and reads like an encyclopedia entry rather than a narrative. Points of interest, from struggling to make ends meet to tourists being cruel, are lost rather than elaborated upon.
A product ultimately unworthy of the celebrated subject it covers. (glossary, author’s note, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)