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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jason Kao Hwang: Sing House

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Jason Kao Hwang stirs the melting pot with several stylistic approaches to his music. His contribution to the Asian stream has manifested itself well enough. His immersion in free jazz with an impressive voice for the unusual, adds a daring, eclectic presence. Hwang has worked with the members of his group in different conglomerations. The understanding between them is seen in their interaction which takes off in free flight on No Such Thing. Hwang sets the head before ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jason Kao Hwang: Sing House

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From the earliest part of his solo career, violinist and composer Jason Kao Hwang has employed an eclectic blend of Western and Eastern influences. His recording roots were no less wide-ranging, beginning with Anthony Braxton's Sextet (Istanbul) (Braxton House, 1995), even if the influences were harder to pin down. Hwang later recorded with William Parker and then Henry Threadgill and Dominic Duval but as he progressed, his music was less married to a recognizable jazz language. He arranged and performed ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jason Kao Hwang: Sing House

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Violinist/violist and composer Jason Kao Hwang has explored the intersections of avant-garde jazz and classical music for some time, and his commitment to drawing inspiration from the well of Asian musical idioms gives his pieces much of their distinctive character. Here he's working once again with bassist Ken Filiano and drummer Andrew Drury, longstanding partners from his EDGE ensemble and Burning Bridge group, and trombonist Steve Swell, who's also played and recorded with Burning Bridge. Rounding out the band is ...

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Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville 2015, Part 1

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Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jason Kao Hwang / Ayman Fanous: Zilzal

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The music forged by Egyptian guitarist/bouzouki player Ayman Fanous and violinist/violist Jason Kao Hwang is alternately thoughtful, prickly, exasperating, mournful, and enchanting. It speaks to mysteries and histories, capturing and refracting the shared language, cross-cultural references, and mystic vibes that these two men have been cultivating and exploring together for fifteen years. “Zilzal" is the Arabic word for “earthquake," but the music on Zilzal doesn't always rumble and rupture the ground. Peaceful prayers ("Nilometer At Roda") can ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jason Kao Hwang / Ayman Fanous: Zilzal

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The duo release--Zilzal--further defines the evolution of two master musician/composers pursing the most imaginative alternatives to the status quo. In recent years, the inventive violinist/violist Jason Kao Hwang has been fully invested in exploring diverse compositional territories. His Burning Bridge octet is now firmly entrenched as a bellwether of genre-defying modern music with a distinct jazz accent. He has travelled the worlds of opera, classical and free jazz with equal passion, crossing traditional barriers and pushing against customary musical confines. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jason Kao Hwang: Burning Bridge

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In recent years, avant-garde music has had no more an effective champion than composer/violinist Jason Kao Hwang. With his longstanding quartet EDGE and three additional players, Burning Bridge extends and broadens Hwang's forward-thinking approach to composition and style. Where his brilliant collection, Crossroads Unseen (Euonymus Records, 2011), referenced subdued Asian-influences, Burning Bridge features a somewhat more pronounced cultural touch. Sun Li's pipa--a lute-like Chinese instrument that dates back two millennia--and Wang Guowei's erhu (a Chinese two-stringed violin) add distinctive traditional ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jason Kao Hwang: Burning Bridge

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Featuring the members of his quartet EDGE, violinist Jason Kao Hwang slashes through preconceived perimeters and bridges a cultural gap via his thoroughly modern vision on this concentrated effort, sparking innovation from a 360-degree stance. The complex premise for these intersecting works emanates from the passing of his mother, his Chinese heritage and life's experiences, all amalgamated into an album that breathes life anew. Dissonance and unorthodox phrasings opaquely coalesce with Hwang's thick staccato phrasings and sophisticated risk-taking ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jason Kao Hwang / EDGE: Crossroads Unseen

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Crossroads Unseen is violinist Jason Kao Hwang's third release with his all-star ensemble, EDGE, following Stories Before Within (Innova, 2007) and its 2006 self-titled debut (Asian Improv). Exploring uncharted territory between chamber music, jazz improvisation and traditional East Asian forms, EDGE boasts some of New York City's finest improvisers, including stalwart contrabassist Ken Filiano, rising cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum and undersung percussionist Andrew Drury.For many Asian-American artists, incorporating traditions from cultures outside the Afro-European Diaspora has become one ...


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