Jason Kao Hwang/Francis Wong/Tatsu Aoki: Graphic Evidence (2005)
The trio is comprised of Western instrumentsFrancis Wong plays soprano saxophone and Tatsu Aoki upright bassbut it's also supplemented by the talented Wu Man on pipa, a Chinese stringed instrument that's similar to a lute. Without a percussionist, the group yields a graceful, delicate sound that surprises at times with quiet suggestions and phantom voices. Wong in particular plays so slowly and softly that he dissolves into the group, giving the feeling of an ethereal string ensemble.
At times these musicians break out of the evocative mist, as on the bluesy "Blood Falling Out-of-Bounds, anchored by a simple, metric riff by Aoki, who has worked extensively with Chicago's AACM in recent years. But when these players are at their best, they float past, as if they didn't know anyone was listening.
Track Listing: To The Endless Embrace of Light; Invocation and Resonance; Microscopic; Blood Falling Out-of-Bounds; Door Beneath and Arch; Transparent Tapestry; Alluvial Fan; Before Memory Begins.
Personnel: Jason Kao Hwang: violin; Francis Wong: soprano saxophone; Tatsu Aoki: bass; Wu Man: pipa.
Record Label: Asian Improv Records
Style: Beyond Jazz