Various Artists

Cherry Blossoms

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Pacific Moon issues records of elegant, refined Asian music by a slew of artists. Cherry Blossoms is their sampler, and it is an excellent and beautifully assembled collection to serve as an introduction. The label goes for the "new age" category but not because this is deigned as music for anything but listening deeply -- it cannot be ignored. It's exotic to be sure, but it's soulful, complex, and sophisticated, and such a lush atmosphere is difficult to ignore. From piano to pipas, this is the sound of the new Asia.

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