The colorful tapestry of the cover drew me to this disc in surprising ways that I discovered upon listening, and not surprisingly, it has become my favorite purchase of this year in a short time. While retaining the forms of traditional India music and instruments (tabla, sitar) it combines tastefully with synthesizers, flute and guitar to incorporate themes of current and other cultures, specifically a jazz fusion style reminiscent of Al di Meola, ballads, to name a few, and the color interplay of the drone, highly melodic sitar and tabla, and spirited vocals that carry one away on a sea of pleasant wistful sonority. It reminds of me of being in Australia in 1988 for the Pacific Festival of the Arts and hearing the sitar when Fiji came on, wondering if the south pacific had shifted for a moment! All elements combine to form a holistic and spontaneously joyful music experience. To the extent that the CD cover and music within share these elements, their impact mirrors that of the sort of cultural olympics and realizing that Indian music reaches out far beyond its native land, even in the south pacific. How much the more so with this collection of tunes that embody the timbres of newer electronic instruments and current patterns while remaining true to its original form, distinctly native and embracing accesible trends in a meaningful way. Covering a broad swath, Putumayo once again delivers an important slice of the worlds culture on a disc. How fortunate as only 100 years ago people had to travel miles or be able to perform western music, let alone that from the other side of the world. The only thing I would have added is either a second disc or a companion album of pure Indian music, but that may not be what the label attempts to provide. There are plenty of sources for that, and so Putumayo is unique.