Santana’s Caravanserai and Welcome are his two albums most in a “jazz fusion” mode.
Perhaps here,though, we can draw a distinction
which makes sense. “Jazz Fusion”, which seeks to
“establish cred” in both a Downbeat Magazine sense and a Rolling Stone circa 1972 sense failed, ultimately, to create lasting work in either sense. On the other hand, work like Santana’s, which did not so much seek “cred” as blend the influences into a pleasing sound,
still sound alive (and a bit “world music”).
Welcome, the album after Caravanserai, is the one with John McLaughlin, who shared an interest in the teachings of that fellow Sri Chinmoy.
Welcome also has a collaboration with Alice Coltrane, bringing the jazz roots up into plain sight. Welcome also has “Flame/Sky”, my favorite shred/jam of his. “Flame/Sky” is a good reminder of how shredding used to fit within the context of a song rather than as a mechanical act in its own right. But Caravanserai may be the stronger album, because it is a melange of jazz, rock, and latin sounds that adds up into one great album.