Q - 1/92, p.723 Stars
- Good - "..The music itself has the potency of a series of layered dreams.."
Down Beat - 12/914 Stars
- Very Good - "..a wonderful sampler for both the novice and the pro...The melodic qualities of percussion rise to the surface.."
Global Rhythm (Publication) (p.45) - "[A] brighter, more forceful and edgy percussion recording. This one sizzles."
Personnel include: Mickey Hart, Sikiru Adepoju, Zakir Hussain, Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, Babatunde Olatunde, Frank Colon, Giovanni Hidalgo, Caryl Ohrbach, Molongo Casquelord, T.H. "Vikku" Vinayakram, Gordy Ryan.
Recorded at Studio X, Sonoma County, California. Includes liner notes by Mickey Hart.
The Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart has long been noted for his contributions to world music. PLANET DRUM remains one of his most successful solo projects. Bringing together percussion legends from Brazil, West Africa, India, and the United States, Hart and his cohorts create a fascinating set of music that showcases not so much the individual skills of these percussionists, but rather, the rich cultures from which they come.
Much of this music is hypnotic given its use of tribal rhythms and repeating motifs. For example, "The Hunt" uses a variety of hand drums to create mesmerizing rhythmical textures. "Evening Samba" embraces the music of the Brazilian samba schools; led by Airto Moreira, this track uses two-toned agogo bells, the surdo (bass drum), and the tamborim (Brazilian tambourine). Crossing the Atlantic, we hear a stunning performance by the Nigerian percussionist and singer Babatunde Olatunde on "Iyanu Surprises." On this recording, Olatunde accompanies his singing with deft hand drumming. The album closes with a gentle composition called "Mysterious Island." On this selection, one can almost feel the drip of the rainforest as drums rumble underneath a blowing breeze and the distant sounds of birdsong.