Commitment, The Complete Recordings, 1981-1983
NoBusiness Records Releases
Commitment: The Complete Recordings 1981/1983
* Historic Reissue Set Features Rare LP and Previously Unreleased Concert *
Commitment, the cooperative quartet featuring violinist Jason Kao Hwang, reed player Will Connell, Jr., bassist William Parker, and drummer Zen Matsuura, released only one album during their five-year life as a working band between 1979 and 1984. This forgotten masterpiece of the Loft Era showcases one of the most original and unjustly neglected ensembles of the period, a New York free jazz group that played a seminal role in the development of Asian American music.
Now Commitment: The Complete Recordings 1981/1983 brings together a newly remastered version of their sought-after collectors item, along with nearly 90 minutes of previously unissued music recorded live in Europe in 1983. Aside from their enormous historical significance, these recording contain music brimming with ideas that sound as fresh and radical today as they did more than 25 years ago.
Despite its limited reputation, Commitment was an important band for its members and for the creation of Asian American jazz. It was this multi-racial band that violinist-composer Jason Kao Hwang first began to fully realize a music that reflected his dual Chinese and American heritage and the musical implications of this hyphenated identity. Although multi-instrumentalist Will Connell, Jr., was a veteran of bands led by Horace Tapscott and Chico Hamilton, Commitment is one of the most sympathetic settings in which this neglected master ever performed. Bassist William Parker was making an early appearance on record, and the LP and live concert are essential documents of his early evolution as a performer and composer. Drummer Zen Matsuura made his recording debut with Commitment, and it remains the most complete showcase of his full range as a percussionist.
As part of its ongoing series that brings to light neglected and previously unissued recordings of the New York Loft Era, NoBusiness has simultaneously released with the CDs a limited edition double LP, Commitment Live in Germany 1983. In addition, a special deluxe edition that includes a signed photo of the band is also available inside the first 30 copies of the double LP set. Both vinyl releases and the two-CD box set include extensive liner notes featuring new information on the history of the band and its members, along with previously unpublished photos.
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