Having spent her younger years bouncing around between Mexico and Minnesota -- her mother was a Mixtec Indian who sang cabaret and her father an American professor -- Lila Downs naturally developed a performing style that drew from both cultures, and then took it further. Not easily pinned down, she studied and absorbed Mexico's indigenous folk music but also spent time as an itinerant Deadhead in the States. She also studied opera and married a jazz pianist, all of which allowed her to expand her sound -- a Lila Downs album might incorporate reggae, soul, rock, and jazz as well as acoustic Mexican folk, all of it seamlessly fused into something completely her own. All of Downs' albums have been worthwhile, but for someone not familiar with them, or just looking for a tidy summation, this compilation is the place to start. The 18 tracks are drawn from Downs' previous releases spanning 1999's La Sandunga through 2006's La Cantina, and the non-chronological sequencing makes it a cohesive listening experience that samples the best of what this powerful vocalist has released thus far.