Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

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Album Review

Jason Kao Hwang: Human Rites Trio

Read "Human Rites Trio" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


Observance is at the heart of violinist Jason Kao Hwang's work, and no two musicians respect and fulfill the promise in his ritualistic art to the degree of bassist Ken Filiano and drummer Andrew Drury. The relationship between these three has traversed time and space(s), manifesting in a sea of strings for Symphony of Souls (Mulatta Records, 2011), playing to poetic notions on Lifelines (Innova Recordings, 2015), taking on a horn and harmonist in Sing House (Euonymus Records, 2017) and ...

2

Album Review

Jason Kao Hwang & Karl Berger: Conjure

Read "Conjure" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic


There is an adventurer's appeal when two free thinkers just pick up mid-stream and let the river carry them. Without label or structure constraint, life-preservers and the chronic happenstance which bars so many back from reaching beyond themselves, music emerges shaded by emotional time, humor, awareness, and mutual respect for each other's untapped potential. So we have Conjure, a meeting of the minds of eighty-four year old vibraphonist/pianist Karl Berger (from the free school of Ornette Coleman, Don ...

5

Album Review

Jason Kao Hwang & Karl Berger: Conjure

Read "Conjure" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian


On the ethereal and intimate Conjure, violinist Jason Kao Hwang and pianist-vibraphonist Karl Berger perform a set of eight improvised duets. Hwang was a member of Berger's Creative Music Orchestra, so the facility of their interaction is not surprising. The brilliant synergy between them, however, results in thought-provoking and thrillingly inventive music which moves with its deep lyricism. The crisp cascade of Berger's nocturnesque mallets opens the melancholic “Silhouettes." Hwang goes from pizzicato punctuations to eerily bent notes ...

7

Album Review

Jason Kao Hwang & Burning Bridge: Blood

Read "Blood" reviewed by John Sharpe


As the follow-up to his Burning Bridge octet's eponymous debut (Innova, 2012), violinist Jason Kao Hwang has created another ambitious and wide-ranging work. As befits the title Blood, it constitutes a personal meditation on weighty subject matter, precipitated by a narrowly-avoided car accident which caused Hwang to consider the wartime experiences of his mother in China. The result is a complex, but gripping, continuous ensemble performance of what the liner notes call “28 staged scenes," tracked in ...

45

Album Review

Jason Kao Hwang - Burning Bridge: Blood

Read "Blood" reviewed by Glenn Astarita


Violinist, composer Jason Kao Hwang and many of his band-mates are among the leading exponents of the new jazz, where disparate genres coalesce, often in seamless fashion to nurture our imaginative inclinations in such a way that standard idioms and classifications go by the wayside. And as the album title implicates, the underlying theme cascades into a five-act tome, based on the passion, mourning and aftershocks of war. In the album notes Hwang adds, “blood meditates upon the emotional traumas ...

4

Album Review

Jason Kao Hwang: Sing House

Read "Sing House" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza


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 ...

22

Album Review

Jason Kao Hwang: Sing House

Read "Sing House" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


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 ...


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