I recently discovered the music of Masayoshi Takanaka while browsing on YouTube. I wasn’t in the best mood so I played Brasilian Skies solely based on the cover art. This man looked like he was having the time of his life on a beach somewhere. The music was happy, ecstatic and upbeat. Then I realized something, you cannot feel sad and listen to Takanaka’s music at the same time, it’s just impossible. What a revelation..
As I went further down the rabbit hole, I found out that Takanaka has an extensive discography ranging from the early 1970’s up until just a few years ago. After about a month solid of listening to these albums with no end in site, I came across the best video yet, the one that would totally blow my mind – Takanaka performing “Ready to Fly” w/Santana live in Japan. I’ve always been a big Santana fan but I had no idea they ever performed together. (My favorite Santana is of course the infamous Woodstock performance of “Soul Sacrifice”, but that’s a story for another time)
So in August of 1981 Santana did a brief tour of Japan with Takanaka called The Summer Live Super Session. This legendary performance at Yokohama Stadium has it all: two heavy hitting guitar masters, city pop synths and an OUT OF CONTROL percussion section driving it all home…it doesn’t get much better than this.