All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 (or more) and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

175

Jason Kao Hwang / Edge: Stories Before Within

Jerry D'Souza By
Published:
Sign in to view read count
Jason Kao Hwang / Edge: Stories Before Within Composer and violinist Jason Kao Hwang and his group Edge return with a story to tell on each of the five tracks on Stories Before Within. Hwang has long been a potent force in assimilating various styles of music, particularly Chinese, Korean and Japanese, with jazz. The result has been a startling cornucopia of thematic dynamics.



Hwang moves into new territory here, setting up his adventures with "Cloud Call," which was inspired by a Ukrainian street festival. The tune devolves on the motifs that drew him, but Hwang brings in his own ideas to flesh and spirit the composition. He lets his violin rise in happy flight, allowing the tempo to surge and fall. Taylor Ho Bynum moves into a freer ambit on the cornet, which he balances with jazz harmony, his finger firmly on the pulse. Bynum's road to invention is extended by Ken Filiano (string bass) and Andrew Drury (drum set) before Bynum reintroduces the melody and cocoons the free explorations.



Hwang had recorded "Third Sight" on Local Lingo (Euonymus Records, 2007) with Sang Won Park. The duo gave the Korean melody an ethereal beauty. This time around the sound is, understandably enough, fuller. The inherent charm is still undiminished though, and the air is exuberant. The quartet plays vivid ensemble lines, lithe and pliant, washing deeply into the melody. The beat changes to a martial one, Bynum squeezing notes out of the cornet as Hwang darts from melody to open-ended notes.



"Walking Pictures" is a series of images. Each maps a logical spot in the mosaic. An abstract opening statement turns into the blues and swing before it breaks that cast and wanders into open territory once more. Both Hwang and Bynum are the instigators for an imaginative excursion, but Drury keeps the rhythm crisp and sparkling and Filiano has a supple string bass venting the base to complete the enticement.



Hwang and Edge not only feed off each other, they fill each other with a sense of anticipation and direction. In so doing, they make this a treat.


Track Listing: Cloud Call; From East Sixth Street; Walking Pictures; Third Sight; Embers.

Personnel: Taylor Ho Bynum: cornet; Andrew Drury: drum set; Ken Filiano: string bass; Jason Kao Hwang: composer, violin, viola (track 3).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Innova Recordings | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop For Jazz

Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Zilzal
Zilzal
Innova Recordings
2014
buy
Burning Bridge
Burning Bridge
Innova Recordings
2013
buy
Burning Bridge
Burning Bridge
Innova Recordings
2012
buy
Crossroads Unseen
Crossroads Unseen
Euonymus Records
2011
buy
Stories Before Within
Stories Before Within
Innova Recordings
2008
buy
Local Lingo
Local Lingo
Euonymus Records
2007
buy
Albert Ayler Albert Ayler
sax, tenor
Steve Lacy Steve Lacy
sax, soprano
Henry Grimes Henry Grimes
bass, acoustic
Hamid Drake Hamid Drake
percussion
Oliver Lake Oliver Lake
saxophone
Fay Victor Fay Victor
vocalist
Billy Bang Billy Bang
violin
Fred Frith Fred Frith
guitar

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.