See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Wednesday, February 21, 2001

Paradise found

Posted By on Wed, Feb 21, 2001 at 12:00 AM

We could all use a little Shangri La in our lives about this time of year. That dirty, gray snow that’s been around since December is getting you down, not to mention the icy blasts of wind that are still hanging in there. For those of us who can’t afford a getaway to someplace warm and tropical, Gardens of Eden is about the next best thing. Featuring songs from Madagascar, India, Hawaii, Big Sur, California, and other locales, this is literally a musical tour de force. These works are on the mellow side of world music with string instruments dominating rather than drums. Brazil’s Ana Rita Simenka’s “Mais Filhos De Ghandi” (More Children of Ghandi) creates a beautiful mixture of bossa nova guitar and vocals with Indian tabla drums and sitar. And the overlaid Hindi chants contrast crucially well here. “Pais Azul” (Blue Country) from Costa Rica’s Guadalupe Urbina contains an incredibly evocative rising vocal line echoed by the mysteriously muted marimba. Tibetan Yungchen Lhame’s beautiful voice drifts in space over delicate instrumentation that seems to reveal the cosmos in your ears in “Happiness Is.”

The CD has a booklet with information on the artists and their native lands. In addition, there’s a page on organizations such as Friends of the Earth and World Wildlife Fund that are working to protect the natural environments of these places. With Gardens of Eden, Putumayo, among the best of world music compilers, has crafted another winner.

Larry Gabriel is the Metro Times editor. E-mail


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit