This is a reasonable but far too brief overview of Mickey Hart
's six world music releases for the Rykodisc label. Since these albums, dating from 1976's Diga
to 1998's Supralingua
, were conceived as individual projects and programmed to flow that way, the mix-and-match approach doesn't work as well as it would for pop artists, or even the Grateful Dead
for that matter. Still, since the music revolves around the percussive-heavy sound that Hart
established, it's moderately effective even in this truncated format. One previously unissued rarity, "Call to All Nations" written for the 1996 Olympics, might hold interest for collectors. Additionally, the tracks have not only been remastered using HDCD technology, but were also remixed by Hart
for 5.1 audio. Regardless, the original albums this material was extracted from are a better, more appropriate way to enjoy the music, especially considering the relatively short 47-minute playing time that leaves almost 30 minutes of the disc empty. Extending it by adding extra unissued or live tracks and making it more continuous could have made this a much more enticing, even essential compilation. As it stands, it's an adequate, listenable, but frustratingly limited taste of Mickey Hart
's world music side projects.