various artists,
Gardens of Eden
(Putumayo, 2001)

The CD jacket heralds Gardens of Eden as a "musical journey to the world's Shangri Las." And it's right. "Be transported," it says. And you should!

Like the ripple of sound and sunshine at dawn, Gardens of Eden awakens the senses. Featuring exquisite musical selections and male and female world artists born of exotic locations, i.e., Telek (Papua New Guinea/"Midal"), Eric Manana (Madagascar/"Tasara Ny Hiran'ny Taniko"), Ana Rita Simenk (Brazil/"Mais Filhos De Ghandi"), Baba Djan (Guinea/"Makola"), Sweta Jhaveri (India/"To a Beloved"), Barefeet (Big Sur/"Arica"), Regional Vermelhe e Branco (Brazil/"Conori"), Guadalupe Urbina (Costa Rica/"Pais Azul"), Te Vaka (New Zealand/"Tautai e"), Keola Beamer (Hawaii/"Elepaio Slack Key") and Yungchen Lhame (Tibet/"Happiness is), Gardens of Eden allows a fascinating glimpse of all the world's "Edens."

Each and every selection of this compilation proves rich in culture and sound. Yet, unlike some other authentic cultural feasts, Gardens of Eden plays music so soft and pleasing that one could listen to its tones at most any time of day. The pieces are literally so wonderfully chosen, but so inherently different, that it's hard to pick a favourite. I just want to revisit all of these little-experienced countries time and time again through this music.

If you like world music, you'll love Gardens of Eden. Putumayo's excellent, high-quality CDs are distributed to over 30 countries and 3,000 non-traditional music outlets. Pick up a copy and grow your own. It's a really nice place to visit!

[ by Lynne Remick ]
Rambles: 4 August 2001

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