Mickey Hart is a rhythm proselytizer. He’s been sounding-off from the percussion pulpit since writing his first book, Drumming at the Edge of Magic in 1990. Hart’s Planet Drum–the book and the album–set forth an army of percussion acolytes. With Spirit into Sound, Hart has another accompanying book and a gentler music that looks toward the melodic side of percussion. Although there are a few guests, including tabla player Zakir Hussain, Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir, and sarangi master Ustad Sultan Khan, it’s Mickey Hart and vocalist/percussionist Rebeca Mauleon who dominate the album. They play melodic percussion instruments and/or electronic samples of African balafon, Brazilian berimbau, and steel drums. For a drummer as worldly as Hart, Spirit into Sound is surprisingly naïve in its childlike rhythms. Mauleon’s wordless chants make Spirit into Sound sound like a global glossolalia nursery rhyme. This isn’t an album for the rhythmatists of Hart’s core following, but a more intimate affair. –John Diliberto
The album, composed by Hart and Planet Drum member Rebeca Mauleon, is a low-key polyglot of world-music styles, emphasizing rhythm, but paying plenty of attention to melody as well. Standouts include the gorgeous vocal number "Sueno Tropicale" and the exotic, meditative "Indian Night.
This disc is pure musical genius and comes highly recommended.
Like Hart's previous efforts, Spirit into Sound is a prayer for the earth. It's a connection between this world and the next, between the conscious and the subconscious, and it carries with it a healing of the soul. On the darkest of days and the blackest of nights, it's the guiding light that will alter your perception and lead you home.