Global Drum Project – Shout Factory

by | Oct 1, 2007 | Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews | 0 comments

Global Drum Project – Shout Factory 826663-10706, 41:58 **** [Release date: Oct. 2, 07]:

(Mickey Hart, percussion/vocals; Zakir Hussain, percussion/vocals; Giovanni Hidalgo, Latin percussion; Sikiru Adepoju, talking drum; Babatunde Olatunji, vocals on “Baba;” Taufiq Qurewshi, percussion/vocals; Niladari Humar, sitar; Dilshad Khan, sarangi)

As the percussionist for the Grateful Dead for over 30 years, Mickey Hart developed an ear for global ethnic drum-based sounds which brought many unusual guests to perform with the Dead and which resulted in a gigantic personal collection of percussion instruments from all over the world. In 1991 this all resulted in the album Planet Drum, which was a dazzling meeting of various internationally-known percussionists, including Zakir Hussain, who had already worked with Hart on the world fusion album Diga Rhythm Band in 1974.  Planet Drum ended up receiving the first-ever Grammy for Best World Music Album, and is still a favorite for its mixing of tuned drums and hypnotic percussion grooves.

Now that 15 years have passed and Hart and Hussain have been touring together since last year, it was decided that the time was right to revisit Planet Drum, enlisting the help of some of the same performers involved in the first effort. All eight tracks are originals drummed out by Hart and Hussain, using rhythms they have picked up from all around the world – the Amazon rain forests, India, Africa, New Guinea, the Caribbean and elsewhere.  The only slight difference from the earlier album is a bit more use of electronic synth programming, but it is so well integrated into the percussion it doesn’t stand out.  The results are just groovy and danceable as were the earlier albums.  My only gripe is considering that Mickey’s own production company is named 360 Degrees Productions, why isn’t this thrilling multi-percussion fest being offered in at least Dolby 5.1 on a DVD, if not on a multichannel SACD?

1. Baba
2. Kaluli Groove
3. Funky Zena
4. Under One Groove
5. Dances With Wood
6. Heartspace
7. Tars
8. I Can Tell You More

 – John Sunier

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