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Music From the Tea Lands
Various Artists
Music From the Tea Lands
Genres: World Music, New Age, Pop
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

This pan-Asian travelogue features musicians from China, India, Tatarstan, Indonesia, Japan, Turkey, and Iran. Aside from the unifying theme of the 400-hundred-year-old tea trade, the tunes have little in common and range ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Various Artists
Title: Music From the Tea Lands
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Putumayo World Music
Original Release Date: 8/22/2000
Release Date: 8/22/2000
Genres: World Music, New Age, Pop
Style: Far East & Asia
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 790248018027

This pan-Asian travelogue features musicians from China, India, Tatarstan, Indonesia, Japan, Turkey, and Iran. Aside from the unifying theme of the 400-hundred-year-old tea trade, the tunes have little in common and range from modern fusions to intriguing glimpses of rarely heard traditions. Assorted strings dominate the instrumental forces, especially harplike sounds, but the vocals are equally strong. Among the most fascinating tracks are Zulya's beguiling recollections of her Tatar childhood, Oki's tribute to his endangered Ainu (Japanese aboriginal) heritage, the Anatolian Turkish saz (lute) stylings of Okan Murat Ozturk, and an arrestingly percussive example of Iran's classical Persian disciplines as performed by Kamil Alipour. The set offers an array of unexpected pleasures from cultures that deserve to be better documented in the West. It is as mellow yet invigorating as the perfect tea break. A recipe for chai, a spicy Indian milk tea, is included. --Christina Roden

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CD Reviews

Tea Time never sounded so good
Joanna Daneman | Middletown, DE USA | 09/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There are quite a few fascinating cuts on this CD, including some very rare music from Japanese musician Oki that highlight his Ainu heritage. The Ainu are the Japanese aborigines, living on the island and anthropologically quite different from the Asiatic strain of Japanese. It's a very pretty folk song, and something you won't find on a CD every day. My other favorite was the opening song by Zulya. She is a Tatar, that is, one of the Asiatic Russian peoples. What is interesting here is the mix of the Mali kora as an accompaniment. At first, I was a bit surprised to hear the kora (it's not from Tatarstan--it's an African instrument), but I must say it made for a lovely mix with the beautiful and mysterious-sounding song. The rest of the CD is pretty good, too, with especially nice music from Persia and Turkey.If you ever brew a pot of tea, try serving it in those thin Turkish or Russian tea glasses instead of mugs on a cold winter day, and put on this CD. Lots of romantic atmosphere, and a great way to relax. Highly Recommended."
My heart has been stolen
C. Gray | Chicago, USA | 03/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When I first previewed this cd in a local Borders bookstore, I wrinkled my nose at a few of the tracks. But I must tell you it wasn't until I took the wraps off at home and paired it with my favorite incense that the overall spirituality of this cd soaked through.It was initially "Saginou" that stole my heart, then "Kang Mandor", but gradually I was ovecome by the entire flow of the compilation. They really do work well together. My hat's off to the compilation specialist and Putumayo for one of my favorite compilations, ever. (and I'm QUITE picky about what I choose to let in)If you're the relaxation type who enjoys music that soothes and heals, you should definitely consider this one."
Journey Across the Asian Continent
Zekeriyah | Chicago, IL | 09/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Billed as a journey across the "Tea Lands", this CD gives an incredible survey of the musical styles of Asia. Asia is a vast and diverse continent, from the frozen steppes of the north to the tropical jungles of India and SE Asia. Some of the oldest civilizations arose there, along the Indus River (in Paksitan) and the Yellow River valley (in China). The religions of Hinudism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Shinto arose in Asia, and Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim countrie. The world's two largest countries, India and China, are both in Asia. The result? You have an incredible variety of languages, cultures and people, all with their own styles of music. Any CD managing to cover even a little of that diversity is amazing, but this CD manages to do just that.

So just whats on this CD, you might ask. Well, alot of good stuff, actually. From the tiny semi-autonomous republic of Tatarstan, Zulya performs a haunting, melodic song. Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali sings a ghazal of love and devotion, while Iranian setar and tar player Kamil Alipour shows the wonder of classical Persian music in the mode Dastgah Afshari. Indonesian composer Ujang Suryana leads a Gamelan ensemble, Turkey's Okan Murat Ozturk demonstrates Anatolian folk music, and Oki revives the traditions of Japan's indigenous culture with Ainu pop, complete with the hankori, a native Ainu instrument. Yes, thats right, Ainu pop! Chinese erhu-player Lei Qiang does a traditional song from Sichuan, while the group Ancient Future does a mellow techno number drawing upon Chinese, Japanese and Indian instrumentation.

This is good music, quite appropriate for listening to while drinking tea if your so inclined. In fact, the booklet includes a history of tea and it's cultural role, as well as a recipe for Indian chaai. The Putumayo label has put out a number of great world music CDs, and this should definately be included amongst them. Listening to this CD will shatter any stereotypes you may have about Asian music. It is certainly worth adding to your collection, and good music to listen to while drinking tea, meditating or just chilling out. Several of my friends have commented that they liked this CD as well, and were amazed at how diverse Asian music is. So do yourself a favor and check out this CD, along with some of the other compilations from Putumayo."