Commissioned: Fred Hammond, Marvin Sapp, Karl Reid, Mitchell Jones, Keith Staten, Michael Williams, Marcus Cole.
Recorded live Straight Gate Church, Detroit, Michigan on October 26, 2001.
THE COMMISSIONED REUNION: LIVE was nominated for the 2003 Grammy Awards for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album.
Personnel: Fred Hammond (vocals, bass guitar); Karl Reid, Keith Staten, Marvin Sapp, Mitchell Jones (vocals); Joey Woolfalk (acoustic guitar); Darryl "Major D" Dixon (electric guitar); Randolph Ellis (saxophone); Clifton Brockington (trumpet); Marvin Thompson (trombone); Noel Hall (piano, organ, keyboards); Earl Wright (keyboards); Luther "Mano" Hanes (bass synthesizer); Michael Williams, Marvin McQuitty (drums); Darius Fentress (percussion); Tommie Walker (keyboard programming, drum programming); Danielle Stephens, Marsha Johns, Davey Hammond, Bryan Pratt, Frederick Purifoy II, PamKenyon Donald, JoAnn Rosario, Radical for Christ (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Fred Hammond; Ray Hammond.
Recording information: Face To Face Productions, Southfield, MI (10/26/2001); Straight Gate Church, Detroit, MI (10/26/2001).
Arrangers: Fred Hammond; Noel Hall; Tommie Walker; Luther "Mano" Hanes.
From the long, elaborate intro to this live album, you might think you had popped in a Pink Floyd disc by mistake. Thankfully, things right themselves in short order, as the smooth but complex pop/gospel harmonies of this much-loved group take center stage. Though members of the Commissioned have gone on to solo careers (most notably the solo gospel sensation Fred Hammond), it was as an ensemble that these men first endeared themselves to scads of contemporary gospel enthusiasts. The reunion concert documented here is a major event for that audience, and the energy going back and forth between the crowd and the Commissioned is audible. From the blazing, horn-punctuated pop-funk of "I'm Going On" to the gentle, R&B-laced ballad "Lay Your Troubles Down," the group testifies with such soulfulness that it's difficult to imagine why they ever separated in the first place.