Consisting of longtime Hart collaborator Zakir Hussain, the phenomenal Indian tabla player, and Nigerian talking drummer Sikuru Adepoju and conga expert Giovanni Hidalgo, the Global Drum Project is a study in polyrhythmic trance music, pairing a variety of percussion instruments with the electronic washes of Jonah Sharp.
Alternately hypnotic and tribal, with instances of wild, uninhibited soloing — Hidalgo and Hussain, in particular, were mesmerizing to watch, with Hidalgo a whirlwind on congas and the insane skitter of Hussain’s tabla — the quartet swung from powerful, synchronized surges of beats, like the ebullient “Baba,” to the jaw-dropping, ambient beauty of “Funky Zena.”
The organic nature of the live experience, plus the mind-blowing improvisation of these masters of their instruments, made the Global Drum Project album, which was released Oct. 2 and has been steadily moving up the world music charts, come alive in unexpected and utterly transfixing ways.
This wasn’t just a collection of songs. It was a journey through strange musical terrain, from jungles of sound to oceanic and desert soundscapes. If you get a chance to see this act, do go. You won’t be disappointed.
For more on the Global Drum Project, visit www.shoutfactory.com.