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Album Review

Former Grateful Dead drummer and world music enthusiast Mickey Hart teams up again with tabla master Zakir Hussein (the two also collaborated on the landmark albums Diga Rhythm Band and Planet Drum) for 2007's Global Drum Project. As on those albums, Hart and Hussein enlist the help of some of the world's great percussionists, including Nigerian talking drum player Sikiru Adepoju and Puerto Rican conguero Giovanni Hidalgo. The album isn't quite the skull-rattling experience one might expect; instead, the grooves percolate and seduce, building trance-inducing layers that variously evoke the Middle East, Africa, and East Asia. The presence of electronics is also strong, as Hart layers the samples and digital effects over the organic bedrock created by his cadre of master drummers.

Biography

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Widely acknowledged among the greatest congueros of his generation, Giovanni Hidalgo was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1963, first taking up the drums five years later; the son of the noted percussionist Jose "Manengue" Hidalgo, he was educated in Latin rhythms from childhood onward, and as a teen regularly walked to local gigs with his congas strapped to his back. He soon caught the attention of the legendary Dizzy Gillespie, touring in his United Nations All-Star Orchestra for four years; Hidalgo...
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Global Drum Project, Giovanni Hidalgo
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Contemporaries