|ticket pic courtesy Thomas Patrick|
On Feb 15, 1987, Olatunji’s group of percussionists and dancers played a benefit in Petaluma, CA for the local World Music in Schools foundation, augmented by Garcia, Santana, Hart, and bassist Bobby Vega. Hart appears to have orchestrated the whole thing, and the 90 minute PBS special about the show (at youtube) credits the Dead’s crew with holding down most of the technical aspects. Hamza el-Din opened the night with a beautiful 20 minute solo performance, then Olatunji’s group played for nearly two hours. I presume Garcia must have rehearsed some for this, especially since he was the only one of the guests not involved with the 1986 recordings. Although he and Santana clearly aren’t central to the music, they both fit in well and Garcia sounds comfortable and quite good when the spotlight falls on him. Presumably in deference to him or (more likely) to the fans who were there because of him, the group plays "Fire On the Mountain," which comes off well enough — but for my money, Garcia’s best moment of the night is the solo he rips on “The Beat of My Drum” (d1t08). Not bad, Jer! He looks plenty happy in the video but, hey, playing on a stage packed full of master African drummers is probably harder than it looks. The night belongs to Olatunji, of course, and the bulk of the show is heavy African percussion, which suits me just fine.
|Santana, Garcia, and (I think) Sikiru Adepoju. pic by Jay Blakesberg|
Here’s the video. Head to 47:50 for some heat:
Charlie Miller’s transfer of Dan Healy’s sbd sounds excellent, but the tracklist (and some of the tracking) is off. They play all of the 1986 album material and I was able to get some other titles by googling, so here is the best I'm able to come up with:
d1t02 ??? (Hamza el Din: oud + vocal)
d1t03 ??? (Hamza el Din: oud instrumental)
d1t04 ??? (Hamza el Din: oud + vocal)
d1t05 ??? (Hamza el Din: tar + vocal)
d1t06 intro parade/??? ; Akiwowo (acapella intro) ->
d1t07 Akiwowo *
d1t08 The Beat of My Drum *
d1t09 Loyin Loyin *
d1t10 Odun De
d2t01 Ife L'Oju L'Aiye * ->
d2t02 Ife L'Oju L'Aiye * (continued from d2t01)
d2t03 band intros, speaking
d2t05 Fire on the Mountain *
d2t06 ??? **
d2t07 Se Eni A Fe L'Amo - Kere Kere *
d2t08 Ilere *
Hamza el Din tracks are unaccompanied.
* with Jerry Garcia, Carlos Santana, Bobby Vega (bass), Mickey Hart (drum kit)
** d2t06 Olatunji introduces percussionist Kwaku Dadi (sp?), who sounds like a special guest.