Remastered and expanded to include three previously unreleased tracks, Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum is celebrating its silver anniversary in style.
In its new guise, Hart’s 1991, Grammy-winning album is sounding better than ever and stretching to just over an hour. As always, it’s esoteric and not totally accessible, like a cross between a pre-MIDI Grateful Dead drum duet and the basic tracks for Paul Simon’s 1990 album, The Rhythm of the Saints.
Hart and the Planet Drum band, which includes Zakir Hussain, T.H. “Vikku” Vinayakram, Sikiru Adepoju, Babatunde Olatunji, Giovanni Hidalgo, Frank Colón and Airto Moreira and his wife, vocalist Flora Purim, created a ground-breaking album a quarter-century ago and it continues to reveal nuances today.
Wordless – at least to English speakers – vocals add to the atmospheric feel. But the most traditional tracks, including “Jewe (You Are the One)” and “Lost River” almost bring the music back down to Earth.
If you’ve been on the fence about picking up this gem, now’s the time to add it to your collection.