This project started through a desire and a sense of obligation to use my music as a platform to address social justice issues permeating the world, and that specifically speak to the South Asian community, where these matters are often considered taboo: sexual orientation, inequality and violence upon women, and the juxtaposition of religions. The artistic inspiration was derived from ghazals, love poems that have its origins in the Arabian Peninsula and eventually made its way to India in the 12th century. Ultimately, I wasn’t looking to create compositions based around love poems, but rather utilize the writings of modern day poets and lyricists in addressing the said issues.
Each composition draws upon one Indian raga in order to present a mood specific to each work. While the music in its entirety is influenced by the Indian and African diasporas, the players bring their own unique musical personalities and collectively, we aim to blur the lines of genre. At the end, I hope this music reflects the creativity of humans, connects to your heart, and inspires you to greater heights of goodness towards all living beings.
"It only takes one initial listen to discern that Jain has masterminded a gala that is divergent, unique and irrefutably compelling. Hence, an album that stands alone within the continual influx of genre-crossing jazz projects. A top pick for 2010, indeed." - Glenn Astarita, Ejazznews
"this release is equally thought provoking, riveting, and engaging."- Mark F. Turner, All About Jazz
"Powering it all with shifting tempos, a vast array of percussive colors and rhythmic aplomb is bandleader Jain, bringing worlds together in seamless fashion...a fresh concept with brilliant execution." - Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes
"Jain intrepidly leads his band into a lush, undiscovered sonic territory that glistens with the exoticism of newness without falling into world-beat fusionist clichés." - Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, New York Press