Schon found fame as a member of Santana when he joined in 1971, at the age of 15. He appeared on their second and third albums alongside vocalist and keyboardist Gregg Rolie, before the pair left to form Journey in 1973.
But he's been talking up a new project for some time, and now Santana has told how it came about.
He tells Artisan News: "Neil pursued me like a guided missile for about a year and a half. Everywhere I went he was there: 'Carlos, everything about me tells me that I need to do this thing with you.' I'm like, 'What?'
"Next thing I know I said, 'Neil, I appreciate your diligence. I'm going to do something with you. But let's invite Gregg Rolie, Michael Shrieve and Michael Carabello – let's get the original Santana band who did the first three albums, and call it Santana IV."
Schon recently discussed how initial rehearsals and songwriting sessions had gone well, telling Something Else: "Musically, there’s nothing that we can’t jump on top of and make it sound really good, really quickly. We managed to get into the studio and lay nine or ten ideas down. It’s smoking. It sounds like the old band."
Santana says of his thinking behind the material: "I compiled my own playlist out of about 200 African CDs, and I go, 'Listen to this.' I call it Filthy McNasty swamp music."
There's no confirmed schedule for the reunion project, with Santana touring the US alongside Rod Stewart over the summer, and Schon committed to Journey duties.