Alex Wong, Getty Last week, Nelly's stop at the Sierra Blanca border in Texas…
- Posted on Sep 2nd 2010 4:00PM by Steve Baltin
Lester Cohen, WireImage
"I feel really grateful and really honored that he pursued with a lot of intensity and diligently, because I was afraid, straight up," Santana said of working with Davis. "Each time he convinced me, he took layers and layers of fear and made me realize there's a way to crystallize these beautiful songs in a way that, like Wayne Shorter would say, 'We have arrived completely new, totally familiar.'"
One of the keys to the album is that Santana and Davis don't treat the songs as sacred works of art: rapper Nas reinvents AC/DC's 'Back in Black,' and India.Arie takes vocals on the Beatles' 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps,' with Yo-Yo Ma adding an elegant cello track to the cover.
Among those on hand in Vegas to hear the new album and see Santana perform with Arie, Chris Daughtry and Bush's Gavin Rossdale was Olivia Harrison, the widow of George Harrison. As she told Spinner, Santana was meant to do her late husband's guitar classic.
"It completes the circle really. Carlos is really the one that can close it. Eric Clapton did it, Prince did it [with] that incredible solo at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a few years ago," she said. "What that showed to me was no matter how hard you play the song, it doesn't have limitations. I think Carlos is not trying to blow his horn -- he's trying to play those notes that are appropriate."
Arie, who lends her vocal talents to the song, told Spinner she was thrilled when Santana shared Harrison's response to the song. "He told me that she said she cried and jumped for joy," Arie says. "I like the idea. I'm honored by the possibility that I just made her happy in that her husband's not here and she's hearing the song."
For Santana, getting Harrison's blessing was very special. "It says that we have become those that we admire," he said. "What made the Beatles and Bob Dylan completely young and eternally relevant is the heart. If you have a certain heart, you're able to complement the songs to a point where you uplift them into a new place."