Since the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995, former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart has been on a quest. Hart’s use of rhythm had long left the strictures of straight-ahead rock drumming, drawing on traditions from around the world to bring the Dead’s meandering jams to life. After the group disbanded, Hart dedicated himself fully to traveling and studying global percussion styles, leading him to write several books about the experience and record collaborations with some of the world’s great percussionists.
In 1991, he released the early “world music” hit album Planet Drum, bringing together India’s Zakir Hussein, Nigeria’s Sikiru Adepoju and Puerto Rico’s Giovanni Hidalgo for a cross-cultural drumming jam. This track, from 2007’s Global Drum Project, reunites those masters. The result is something a little more space-age than Hart’s previous effort, a little heavy on the reverb and sound effects, but look past the mix and there is percussive greatness at the root of it all.