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 Steve Swell sweeps in with distortions that soon shape into swinging, burnished lines. The body soon splinters as Hwang breaks loose and shatters the mould. Statis is not the key and Chris Forbes sparkles with melodic lines that are later shattered into a maelstrom. The sands of time and mood turn constantly on the hub of surprise.
The lines between composition and improvisation continue to intertwine on Inscribe. To expect otherwise would be to miss the core of the music. The impetus is the atmospheric flow between the two and the seamless injunction of space. Swell's propulsive trombone is churned by the skittering undercurrent of Andrew Drury's drum set, Hwang glides over the rhythm, then dips into quick, haunting abstractions. Time and momentum are embraced by melody and free injunction into a well crafted whole.
Composition and improvisation become compelling, and mesmerising, bedfellows on yet another excellent outing from Hwang.
No Such Thing; Dream Walk; When What Could; Inscribe.
Jason Kao Hwang: violin, viola; Chris Forbes: piano; Steve Swell: trombone; Ken Filiano: bass; Andrew Drury: drums.
All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.