The fact that Nana Simopoulos plays both the sitar and the bouzouki on Daughters of the Sun tells you a lot about the singer/instrumentalist. For centuries, the sitar has been one of the top string instruments in traditional North Indian music, whereas the bouzouki is a Greek instrument — and if someone is capable of playing both instruments on the same album, you know that she has a truly multicultural outlook. Multicultural is definitely the word that describes this fine world fusion effort, which combines folk and pop elements with music from different parts of the globe — primarily India, the Middle East, and Greece. The material on Daughters of the Sun (some of it instrumental, some of it with vocals) favors what is known as modal or scalar playing. Those who aren't musicians may not know the exact technical meaning of that term, but it's easy to recognize modality when you hear it — modal/scalar playing is what Indian, Greek, Jewish, Armenian, Arabic, and Turkish music all have in common, and it is the type of playing that John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Yusef Lateef introduced to the jazz world in the late '50s and early '60s. Modality can be loud and festive (Jewish klezmer) or it can be tranquil (Indian ragas) — and on this CD, Simopoulos favors the more tranquil, peaceful approach to modality. Hauntingly ethereal yet rhythmic tunes like "True to the Land" and "Aphrodite's Star" have the sort of calm, quiet strength that one expects from traditional Indian ragas, but Simopoulos doesn't limit herself to Indian instruments — on Daughters of the Sun, her sidemen play everything from African udu drums to Native American flutes to the Aboriginal didgeridoo. This risk-taking CD is enthusiastically recommended to those who appreciate a broad-minded approach to world music.