Category Archives: New CDs

Remastered Edition of Iconic Planet Drum Album

Planet Drum, the percussion album that became a world music sensation 25 years ago is available again, remastered and with new tracks. The 25th Anniversary Special Edition will be available on Friday, December 2nd, 2016 in various formats, including Vinyl LP for the first time.

On Planet Drum, American drummer Mickey Hart (The Grateful Dead) brought together percussion maestros from various parts of the world: Zakir Hussain and Vikku Vinayakram (India), Babatunde Olatunji and Sikiru Adepoju (Nigeria), Airto Moreira and Flora Purim (Brazil), and Giovanni Hidalgo (Puerto Rico).

The Remastered 25th Anniversary Edition includes 3 new tracks: Sea Of Showers, Throat Games, And The Spot. Sea Of Showers features Flora Purim And Babatunde Olatunji. Throat Games is a vocal percussion piece with Baba, Sikiru, Zakir, and Airto. The Spot starts with the sound of water drops, and then showcases Zakir and Airto.

Mickey Hart
Mickey Hart

Planet Drum: Song Descriptions by Mickey Hart

1. Udu Chant 3:40

Udu Chant represents the struggle of Life and Death, which throughout history has been portrayed in ritual using percussion. Airto plays Portuguese wooden shoes called tamanco. I play the “Beam” and a giant hoop drum from the Arctic Circle, which together form the resounding low end. Sikiru maintains a timeline bell pattern, while Zakir plays custom-made electronic triggers connected to digitally-sampled ¬Udu drums.

Sikiru Adepoju – Cowbell
Mickey Hart – Bass drum, snare drum, hoop drum, tambourine, triangles “Beam,” vocals
Zakir Hussain – Udu drum, balafon, tabla
Airto Moreira – Tamanco, bird calls, whistles, conch shell, claps, chimes, vocals

2. Island Groove 5:43

Island Groove is the soft side of percussion. It is a slow but simple 4/4 samba of ashiko rhythm, based on the sounds of the Yoruban consonants: go, pa, gun. When put together, they become drum talk. This song evolved as the rhymes one person played reminded another of something in their own background. We were able to collectively draw upon our various traditions, and contribute individually to the creation of this composition.

Sikiru Adepoju – Duggi tarang, dundun
Mickey Hart –Bombo indio with split bamboo, Drum set
Zakir Hussain – Madal, dholak
Airto Moreira – Caxixi, rattles, yelling, Chinese cymbal-throwing
Babatunde Olatunji – jembe, congas, shekere, vocals

3. Light Over Shadow 3:51

Airto started this song with a slow groove which had the power of the drum set, without the usual accompaniment of cymbals. He used a variety of unusual instruments in the composition. Among these were Mexican donkey jaws and a metal spring which resonates on the body of the instrument when hit with a stick.

Airto Moreira – Snare drum, metal spring, toms, (quijada de burro) Mexican donkey jaws cowbell, cuica, flute, vocals
Babatunde Olatunji – jembe, ashiko, ngoma
Flora Purim – vocals

4. Dance Of The Hunter’s Fire 2:59

Dance of the Hunter’s Fire demonstrates the basic African polyrhythm, four beats against six beats. It is an interesting comparison of two rhythmic traditions, the African and the South Indian. What you hear is Baba’s interpretation of the six-beat rhythm laid against four-beat carpet, while Vikku improvises on the Ghatam.

Sikiru Adepoju – Bell
Frank Colon – Shekere
Giovanni Hidalgo – Shekere and Congas
Airto Moreira – ¬jembe, shakers
Caryl Ohrbach – Shaker
Babatunde Olatunji – jembe
Flora Purim – Shaker
T.H. “Vikku” Vinayakram – Ghatam

5. Jewe “You Are The One” 4:06

Jewe is an example of the use of the human body as a percussion instrument. Five of us are playing in this song, slapping our chests and singing. This cupping of hands and slapping of the chest cavity created a hollow thud, and allowed us to control the vibration of our voices.

Mickey Hart –Vocals, body percussion
Bruce Langhorne – Vocals, body percussion
Babatunde Olatunji – Vocals, body percussion
Flora Purim – Vocals
Gordy Ryan – Vocals, body percussion

6. The Hunt

This song represents the primitive with a feeling of the relentless pursuit of the hunt. Sikiru’s talking drum speaks over the djembe, Jew’s harp, and drum set to form a unique rhythm.

Sikiru Adepoju – Dundun
Mickey Hart – Drum set
Zakir Hussain – Naal, bells, tabla
Airto Moreira – Shakers
Babatunde Olatunji – jembe, ashiko, ngoma
T.H. “Vikku” Vinayakram – Ghatam, Jew’s harp

7. Temple Caves 3:13

At the dawn of religion, the Paleolithic trance dancers gathered in subterranean temple caves for ritual celebration. The natural sounds of the caves were an eerie backdrop to the dances. The echoes, the bats, the water dripping from the roof, the whacking of palm against stalagmite and the stalactite resounded thought the caves, creating unique percussive sounds. These sounds were the inspiration for Temple Caves.

Sikiru Adepoju – Gudugudu
Mickey Hart – Split Bamboo, rain stick, shakers, Earth Drum, clackers, duggi tarang, body percussion
Zakir Hussain – tabla, taya
Airto Moreira – Slit gongs, conch shell, shakers, voice/breath
Babatunde Olatunji – jembe, congas

8. The Dancing Sorcerer 2:57

The Dancing Sorcerer features Airto on berimbau, and Zakir on tabla and madal. The berimbau is one of the oldest instruments known to man. In fact, it may be the image of a musical bow in the caves at Les Trois Freres (15,000 BC) that provided the first documentation of percussion’s connection to the sacred. This picture resembles a man wearing the skin of an animal and playing some kind of instrument, possibly a sounding bow or concussion stick.

Zakir Hussain – madal, tabla
Airto Moreira – berimbau

9. Bones 4:10

This song is based on a rhythm I played on the balafon, with bones as mallets. The rest of the ensemble added their own sounds. The use of bones, especially human bones, exhibits a relationship between percussion and ritual. Hitting one bone against the other, or using bones on drums instead of sticks has an influence on the sound produced, and on the person who produces it.

Mickey Hart- Bones, balafon
Giovanni Hidalgo – batá
Zakir Hussain – Dundun, shaker and bell
Babatunde Olatunji – Vocals
Flora Purim – Vocals

10. Lost River 2:58

Lost River is a high-spirited song that demonstrates an interplay between the human voice and percussion instruments. To Zakir, this song brought to mind the singing of children in the mountains of India. The drums provide the strong rhythm which lays a foundation for Flora’s flowing melody.

Sikiru Adepoju – jembe, dundun

Mickey Hart – Drum set

Zakir Hussain – Duggi tarang, conch shell

Airto Moreira – Cymbals, shakers, wood blocks, floor tom, metal percussion
Babatunde Olatunji – Vocals

Flora Purim – Vocals

11 Evening Samba 4:30

Evening Samba is a mixture of Brazilian and Angolan rhythms, a perfect frame for out extended bell improvisation.

Sikiru Adepoju – Bell
Mickey Hart – Bell
Zakir Hussain – Bell
Airto Moreira – Bass drum, snare drum, tom toms, tambourine, whistles, wood blocks, metal percussion, cymbals, bells
Babatunde Olatunji – Shaker, bell
T.H. “Vikku” Vinayakram – Ghatam

12. Iyanu “Surprises” 2:02

Iyanu was recorded in 1986, after the Olatunji sessions which resulted in the recordings of the “Invocation to the Orishas” and “The Beat.” The gourds were grown in my garden, and arranged into a new instrument, a gourdophone. Airto played metal brushes against split bamboo.

Molonga Casquelord – Vocals
Mickey Hart – Gourds, vocals
Airto Moreira – Vocals, bamboo with brushes
Babatunde Olatunji – Vocals, clapping
Flora Purim – Vocals

13. Mysterious Island 5:49

Mysterious Island began with recording I made of ocean waves late one night in Kona, Hawaii. I brought back the recording and played it for the ensemble. It was the inspiration for Flora’s seagulls and for her dialogue with a circle of wind chimes which she assembled and walked among during the recording of the song. Mysterious Island mixes the natural elements of water, rain, blowing wind, and birds with the sound of metal bells and the human voice.

Mickey Hart – Grand dumbek, body percussion
Airto Moreira – Bird whistles, nose flute body percussion, tambourine
Flora Purim – Wind chimes, seagulls, vocals
Jeff Sterling – Udu Drum

The Bonus Tracks

This special, remastered 25th anniversary release includes three new tracks produced by Mickey and Zakir, with Zakir’s arrangements of material from the original 1991 recording sessions.

14. Sea Of Showers 4:52

Sea of Showers features Flora Purim and Babatunde Olatunji singing over an elegant rhythm base that includes sounds from Airto’s Aboriginal Australian bullroarer to Flora’s chimes.

15. Throat Games 2:27

Throat Games presents a pan-global scat-a-thon by Babatunde Olatunji, Sikiru Adepoju, Zakir Hussain, and Airto Moreira, using styles of vocalizations from their various musical traditions.

16. The Spot 4:34

The Spot begins with the sound of water drops, and then Zakir Hussain and Airto Moreira dance with the rhythms of the tiny waves in an homage to the water gods.

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Darrell Webb Band to Release “Lover’s Leap” in February 2017

Darrell Webb Band
Darrell Webb Band

Bluegrass act Darrell Webb Band will be releasing a new album titled “Lover’s Leap” (Mountain Fever Records) on February 10, 2017. A single, “If You’re Thinking You Want A Stranger”, from the upcoming album was released this week. This song became a country classic in 1981, recorded by George Strait.

Darrell Webb Band - Lover's Leap”
Darrell Webb Band – Lover’s Leap

Darrell Webb is regarded as one of the finest modern day vocalists in bluegrass. He’s been performing professionally for over 20 years, as a member of acclaimed bands such as Lonesome River Band, Wildfire, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, and Rhonda Vincent & the Rage.

In 2014, Darrell Webb released Dream Big (Mountain Fever Records). Webb’s current band includes Tyler Collins on dobro, Jacob Shelton on bass, Jared Hensley on guitar, and Collins Miller on banjo.

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VP Records to Release Strictly the Best Vol. 55

Various Artists - Strictly the Best Vol. 55
Various Artists – Strictly the Best Vol. 55

The anthology Strictly the Best Vol. 55 (VP Records) includes this year’s most popular dancehall reggae songs played at clubs and on Caribbean radio. Artists featured include Vershon, Alkaline, Vybz Kartel, Mr. Vegas, Spice, Chi Ching Ching, Masicka and Dexta Daps.

Vol. 55 contains a bonus disc with famous duets from significant deejays paired with reggae singers. Songs include “Twice Mt Age” by Shabba Ranks ft. Krystal, “Bonafide Love” by Wayne Wonder ft. Buju Banton and “Hot Gal Today” by Mr. Vegas & Sean Paul.

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Reggae Specialists VP Records to Release Strictly the Best Vol. 54

Various Artists - Strictly the Best Vol. 54
Various Artists – Strictly the Best Vol. 54

The reggae compilation Strictly the Best Vol. 54 (VP Records) features some of the best-known roots and lover’s rock singers. The set, scheduled for release in November, includes Ikaya, Tarrus Riley, Romain Virgo, MAGIC ft. Sean Paul. Alborosie feat. Protoje, Sizzla Ft. Jah Cure, Raging Fyah and Jah9.

Vol. 54 includes a bonus disc of classics from Jamaica’s celebrated vocal groups, including The Wailing Souls, The Heptones, The Mighty Diamonds, T.O.K, Morgan Heritage & others.

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Jorge Pardo Releases Djinn

Jorge Pardo
Jorge Pardo

Spanish jazz, flamenco and world music saxophonist and flutist Jorge Pardo has a new album titled Djinn.

Djinn combines jazz grooves, electronic beats and flamenco. Pardo uses acid Hammond organ, powerful drums, electric bass and flamenco guitar along with guest DJs from the world of electronic music.

Jorge Pardo - Djinn
Jorge Pardo – Djinn

Jorge Pardo was a member of pioneering Spanish salsa and Latin jazz band Dolores. He later worked with flamenco legends Paco de Lucia and Camarón. His essential albums include Vientos Flamencos, 10 de Paco, Huellas, and Historias de Radha y Krishna.

Jorge Pardo will be touring Spain to promote the new album. The next concerts will take place Friday, October 28 at Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid and Saturday, October 29 at Sala Malandar in Sevilla.

Buy the digital version of Djinn.

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Heidi Talbot Releases “Here We Go 1, 2, 3”

Acclaimed Irish singer-songwriter Heidi Talbot has a new album titled “Here We Go 1, 2, 3” (Navigator Records).

‘Here We Go 1, 2, 3’ is Talbot’s fifth solo album, produced by musical colleague and husband, John McCusker.

The album contains a mix of Irish folk, Americana and pop.

Buy Here We Go 1, 2, 3 in the Americas

Buy Here We Go 1, 2, 3 in Europe

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Pentangle Live in 2008

Pentangle – Finale – An Evening With… (Topic, 2016)

Topic Records will be releasing Finale. An Evening With… Pentangle. In February of 2007 the original members of influential English folk-rock band Pentangle received a BBC Radio 2 Lifetime Achievement Award from David Attenborough. The following year, on June 29th, 2008, precisely 40 years since the recording of their significant live album Sweet Child at the Royal Festival Hall, Pentangle returned to the very same venue to begin their first British tour since 1973.

Finale was recorded live during the 2008 tour and sees the original line-up revisit their classic repertoire. The beautifully recorded and packaged 2CD set features Pentangle in a series of stimulating performances. Bert Jansch supervised the mixing and sequencing and John Renbourn prepared the album masters before their premature deaths in 2011 and 2015 respectively.

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Guillermo Velázquez y Los Leones de la Sierra de Xichú Release Serrano de Corazón

Guillermo Velázquez y Los Leones de la Sierra de Xichú Serrano de Corazón
Guillermo Velázquez y Los Leones de la Sierra de Xichú Serrano de Corazón

Smithsonian Folkways Tradiciones/Traditions has released a new album Guillermo Velázquez y Los Leones de la Sierra de Xichú. The title of the recording is Serrano de Corazón (Highlander at Heart).

Huapango arribeño is a distinct regional tradition of Mexican music with colonial roots, long-lasting but sheltered in its mountainous homeland in the central states of Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí, and Querétaro.

Remarkable folk poet Guillermo Velázquez and his Leones de la Sierra de Xichú deliver the songs with their violins, guitarra quinta huapanguera, jarana, and percussive dancing. Serrano de Corazón (Highlander at Heart) evokes the spirit of all-night topadas, competitive duels between poets and their musicians for the delight of all. The album includes a 40-page bilingual booklet with photos.

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Jordi Savall Releases Granada 1013-1526

Jordi Savall - Granada 1013-1526
Jordi Savall – Granada 1013-1526

Composer and muician Jordi Savall has a new album titled Granada 1013-1526 (Alia Vox AVSA 9915). The recording features his regular ensemble Hespèrion XXI and La Capella Reial de Catalunya.
Granada 1013-1526 explores 500 years of Medieval Spanish history in a region where there frequent encounters between the three monotheistic religions.

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Brazil’s Graveola Release Camaleao Borboleta

Graveola - Camaleão Borboleta
Graveola – Camaleão Borboleta

Post-tropicalista Brazilian band Graveola have a new album titled Camaleão Borboleta (Chameleon Butterfly). The new recording features socially conscious lyrics concerning the power of the internet, native Brazilian-Indian struggles and issues around marijuana legalization.

Graveola’s musical style is hard to define. They construct a hybrid mix using elements of tropicalia, samba, rock brasileiro, and Brazilian folk rhythms along with reggae and salsa to develop unexpected new hybrids they describe as “psychedelic maracatu”, “shamanic funaná”, “weird salsa”, “schizo-rock-fake-reggae” and “melancholic internet love ballad.” The band released Eu Preciso De Um Liquidificador in 2013.

Buy Camaleão Borboleta in the Americas

Buy Camaleão Borboleta in Europe

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