In the 2004 book Voices Of Latin Rock: The People And Events That Created This Sound
, for which Carlos Santana wrote a foreword, "Batuka" is described as "Neal Schon's debut proper. A Sly-influenced conga pattern by Carabello, supported by Areas's cowbells and Shrieve's crisp hi-hat, underscores a wild guitar solo that cuts and parries against the onslaught of Carlos's, Rolie's and Brown's rhythmic thrusts. Schon's playing echoes Hendrix and leads the vanguard from the later chainsaw-playing of Pete Cosey and Reggie Lucas in Miles Davis's band."
That is one way of describing this blistering instrumental that kicks off The Third Album
and melds seamlessly into "No One To Depend On
Neal Schon, who joined the band for the album, was with them just a short time: He left to form Journey in 1973.
Alexander Baron - London, England