Asian Improv Records
Musician/composers Francis Wong and Jon Jang founded Asian Improv Records in San Francisco in 1987 to provide a home for Asian-American artists whose music combined Asian traditional forms with contemporary styles. Much of the label's catalogue consists of projects that fuse modern jazz or blues with traditional Asian sounds, thus appealing to the mature, sophisticated listener. In fact, Asian Improv's Asian American Orchestra was nominated for a Grammy for Best Performance by a Large Jazz Ensemble for their 1999 recording of Duke Ellington's "Far East Suite." By contrast, Asian Improv's Elephant Tracks compilation, a record benefiting the Asian Pacific Islander Student Alliances (APISA), is everything hip hop was meant to be: raw, slammin', by the kids, for the kids. That record features KNT, Encore, and 427.