Will Connell Jr. - flute, alto saxophone, bass clarinet, wood flutes
Jason Kao Hwang - violin, viola, bird calls
Zen Matsuura - drums
William Parker - string bass
2010 Best Reissued Recordings, All About Jazz New York
.this collection showcasing mostly new material to enthusiastic audiences...Intensity drives everything , but there is also a magnetic tendency towards space and opens.
- John Ephland, Downbeat Magazine, January 2011
...Commitment's music lies right in that sweet spot where Sixties free jazz meets the pan-stylistic reach of Chicago's AACM with a dose of "world music" thrown into the mix as well. It's that blend, and the co-operative quartet's collective power that makes this a band worth remembering.
- Stuart Kremsky, The IAJRC Journal, December, 2010
The sound texture of the group in full sail is dramatically powerful and nuanced….For a relatively brief moment in the 80’s they showed themselves as one of the most important improvisatory ensembles of the era. -Grego Applegate Edwards,gapplegate.com,Oct. 11, 2010
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.
released January 1, 2010
Tracks 1-5 was recorded on October 13 and 14, 1980 in New York City and was originally released by Flying Panda Records.
"Mountain Song" and "The Web of Forces" by Will Connell Jr., Watabu Music, ASCAP. "Famine" by William Parker, Centering Music, BMI, "Grassy Hills the Sun" and "No Name" by Jason Kao Hwang, Watabu Music, ASCAP.
Tracks 6-11 was recorded live in Germany, May 20, 1983 and have never been released before.
"Ocean," "Grassy Hills, the Sun" and "Diary for One at Night," by Jason Kao Hwang, 1983, Flying Panda Music, BMI. "Whole Grain" and "Continuous" by William Parker, 1983, Centering Music, BMI. "The Pathway" by Will Connell Jr. Jason Kao Hwang, Zen Matsuura and William Parker, 1983, Flying Panda Music, BMI.
Tracks 1-8 are on CD disk 1. Tracks 9-11 are tracks 1-3 on CD disk 2.
Executive Producer: Danas Mikailionis
Producers: Ed Hazell, Jason Kao Hwang
Liner Notes: Ed Hazell
Mastering engineer: Paul Zinman, SoundByte Productions
Cover photography: Craig Sugimoto
Additonal Photography: (I can provide after seeing final layout.)
Additional thanks: Jay Oliver, Denis Charles, Verna Gillis/ Soundscape, Basement Workshop, Gennevieve Lam, and Anonymous Donor
Jason Kao Hwang (composer/violin/viola) recently released Sing House and VOICE. In 2012, NPR selected Burning Bridge as one
of the year’s Top CDS and the Downbeat Critics’ Poll voted him “Rising Star for Violin.” In 2011 and 2012 the El Intruso Critic's poll voted him #1 for Violin/Viola. Mr. Hwang has worked with Pauline Oliveros, Wadada Leo Smith, William Parker, Anthony Braxton, and others....more