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World Music CD Reviews Asia & Far East


Published May 31, 2005

The Jumping Buddha Ensemble
Boodahjoo Music

The story of the Jumping Buddha: While sitting under a tree, Buddha smelled such good food cooking he was compelled to break from meditation to get to the source. How does this tale apply to the musical collaboration of Michael Santoro, Fred Fung and guests? Blending together sounds and inspiration from Vietnam, India, China and Nepal, the group delivers a mouth-watering, steamy Pan Asian dish of succulent texture: spicy (but not too spicy), sweet, tangy and just the right size portion to leave you satisfied but hungry for more. Accompanying traditional instruments with progressive and traditional compositions and lyrics, tracks like “The Monk Thinks About His Wife” and “Reflections” suggest the marriage of these musically gifted cultures. If Buddha was willing to jump the fence once, he might consider it again after hearing the reworked live interpretation of “Western Poem” and acclaimed Cantonese piece “Thunder In The Drought.”