This CD is edited from a live recording made by the BBC in November 2003 at the Venue, Leeds College of Music and subsequently broadcast on Radio 3.
If Paradise was originally commissioned by the Eastern Orchestral Board and toured to over 20 venues across the whole of the UK. It is deeply rooted in recent history, and on one level tells the story of a young Asian couple caught up in contemporary events; it has many other resonances, however, and interpretation is in the end up to the listener. It is not religious, but aims to express the decency and humanity of people of all religions or none. Above all, it seeks to bridge the culture of East and West, and the music is therefore based on the classical, folk and popular music of South Asia, combined with jazz and the rhythms of Africa.
Virtuoso Indian musicians, charismatic singers plus a stunning array of international jazz soloists unite in Tony Haynes' visionary work. The 18-strong line-up includes Tony Kofi, Chris Biscoe, Louise Elliott, Claude Deppa, Shanti Paul Jayasinha, Brian Abrahams, Lucy Rahman, Akash Sultan, Baluhi Shrivastav and Yousuf Ali Khan.
* * * * "The most rousing and coherent work of [Haynes's] long career" John Fordham, The Guardian
For a taster of the CD, listen to these tracks: