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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Carlos Santana and Merl Saunders - February 22, 1971, Matrix, San Francisco

Wasserman, John L. 1971. The Big Sound At Lake Tahoe ["Something Else" subhead], San Francisco Chronicle, February 22, 1971, p. 40.
The Chicken's Matrix list  doesn't show a few of these Matrix gigs, so I'll throw them out there.

Monday; February 22, 1971; Carlos Santana and Merl Saunders
Tuesday; February 23, 1971; Larry Coryell
Wednesday; February 24, 1971; Larry Coryell

I think you guys will also be interested in the Tuesday night Fillmore West rehearsals. Since there were no posters (and presumably not terribly many attendees), these have probably been a little more elusive. All of this will be entered into shared data at some point.

Don't even get me started about Hubbard and Hancock. I don't know if Herbie was into Mwandishi by this time or not. I have a sense of what Freddie was playing around this time, interpolating through a few 1970 and 1971 dates that are out and about. Red Clay and all that ... would be absolutely smokin', I am sure. I wonder what was the capacity of the Both/And?

My main thing was to point out Carlos Santana and Merl Saunders gigging at the Matrix. By this time, Jerry and Merl were a regular thing. So here's a nice little instance of where Jerry's out of town with his day job, Merl is working gigs of his own. Naturally enough. Gotta eat.

But that this was Carlos and Merl at the Matrix makes it all the more interesting. I assume there are Santana freaks out there who know about this. I should assume that it's in McNally and Jackson and probably that Corry has already blogged about this, at length. :) But I, for one, don't recall hearing about this.

2/22/71, Monday night. Carlos and Merl (and who else??) jamming at the Matrix. Yeah, I'd soak up some beer for the privilege. Must have been a good payday all around. I wonder how the music was? I wonder if it was taped? This is just a marker, have at it.

Hope you are all well. While I still need to be on hiatus from this material, one has to be opportunistic when the research opportunities present themselves. I'll probably do more of this as summer rolls around.


  1. Both/And Jazz Club
    350 Divisadero (moved to 620 Divisadero)
    San Francisco, CA

    Capacity 500

    350 Divisadero
    Leonard Sheftman was half-owner of the Both/And jazz club.(6)
    You wouldn’t know it by looking at it, but back in the ’60's and ’70s', 350 Divisadero was a popular live music venue called the Both/And Jazz Club, hosting the likes of Ike & Tina Turner, The Steve Miller Blues Band, and Miles Davis.(3)

    Joe Louis Walker also has fond memories of the Both/And. He remembers seeing Miles Davis and Wes Montgomery there. "It was a cool atmosphere at the Both And, the premier jazz club for a while. It had a stage to the right and an upstairs area. John McLaughlin played there one night out of a Marshall amp. No one could believe it. Jazz chicks were going crazy. It was an excellent show."(5)

    In 2012, this address houses Hybrid Training SF, a Mixed Martial Arts gym.(4)

    620 Divisadero
    The second site of the Both/And has been used more or less continuously as a music venue in San Francisco since the 1970's.
    For a while it was the VIS Club, then from the late 1980's until well into the 1990's, The Kennel Club for many years, then The Justice League and now it's called The Independent. The current address is 628, not 620, but its the same place.(1)(2) The old Harding Theater is right next door.

    The Archie Shepp album 'Live in San Francisco' was recorded at the Both/And Jazz Club.

    Jerry may have performed here on
    11/1/70 New Riders Of The Purple Sage

    1.)^Arnold, Corry, comments, 2009-12-16, NRPS:ca. 11/1/70?,
    2.)^Joe Bob J., 2012-04-06,
    3.)^Dudley, Andrew, What's up at 350 Divisadero?, 2010-06-23,
    5.)^Pepin, Elizabeth, Music Of The Fillmore,
    6.)^Billboard, 1969-04-19.

    I haven't been able to nail down the date when the venue moved to 620 Divisadero. Anyone know?

  2. This is pretty interesting. The Sanatanamigos site (the gold standard for Santana history) doesn't know about this date, so this is new territory. Carlos Santana had played the Monday night jam at the Matrix various times in '68 and '69, so its great to see he was still doing it as late as '71. You've gotta think it was Merl's gig, so he brought the rhythm section, but I wonder who it was?

    Larry Coryell was great in 71 too (Mervin Bronson-bass and Harry Wilkinson-drums, Live At The Village Gate, etc), quite a week. And Abel, who was playing the next night at Keystone Korner, featured Abel Zarate, later the guitarist in Malo (along with Jorge Santana).

  3. The Sanatanamigos site relies on folks like us to tell them such dates Corry - I have let Karim know.

  4. LIA has found a "Carlos Santana, Merl Saunders and Friends" listing for one week prior to this, 2/15/71 at the Matrix. Unlike 2/22, Garcia could well have been available!


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