Malo Biography

Lead guitarist Jorge Santana, younger brother of Carlos Santana, formed Malo in San Francisco, California, USA, in 1971. He was initially joined by Richard Kermode (keyboards) and Louis Gasca (trumpet) - two ex-members of Janis Joplin’s Kozmic Blues Band - as well as Arcelio Garcia (vocals), Abel Zarate (lead guitar), Roy Murray (trumpet, horns), Pablo Tellez (bass), Raul Rekow (percussion), Richard Spremick (drums) and Pepe Rosales (drums). Malo bore an obvious debt to his brother’s band Santana, fusing Latin styles with energetic, rhythmic rock and fluid guitar lines. It yielded a surprise hit single when ‘Suavecito’ reached the US Top 20. Malo were a popular live attraction in their native city, but a constantly changing personnel undermined their initial appeal. Jorge, Garcia and Tellez were the sole survivors from the founding line-up that featured on Ascension. Tellez then joined Santana, where he was later joined by Richard Kermode. Other ex-members formed the similarly-styled Sapo, while Jorge Santana formed the Jorge Santana Band in 1978.


Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.


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