If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.
You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...
It is difficult to escape the storytelling element of the new release Stories Before Within. There's that title for one; the cover art prominently displays an open book and the first sentence in the liner notes emphatically declares, "as he prepared his new release by Edge, violinist-composer Jason Kao Hwang was thinking about storytelling."
The quartet is led by Hwang (violin and viola) with Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet), Andrew Drury (drums) and the wonderful bassist Ken Filiano. It is uncanny to note how structurally similar the tracks are to their literary counterparts. The first four tracks begin with the climax, a dark, elastic arrangement where the bass plays a lead role that remains consistent and strong throughout. "Walking Pictures" starts with each instrument tightly creating a unified sound of anticipation and yearning. The melodic camaraderie five minutes into the piece is as striking as the sensual turn the arrangement takes. The viola enters and leaves provocatively, sweetly and with perfectly planned precision.
No track differs significantly from the othersthey obviously share a thematic link and listening in the order in which they are placed in the recording lends authenticity to the experience. Though tasteful and solemn, the first two tracks seem celebratory, with the drums central and the rabid screeches of the violin held together by the sanguine rhythm. The viola's appearance on "Walking Pictures" is sweet and it nimbly enters the song with mournful sinew and leaves quietly, knowing its place.
"Embers" is a tragic composition, beginning quietly but taking brutally melancholic turns. Hwang's almost prodigious command over his instrument is impressive and "Embers" is an elegiac conclusion to a story of emotions that change so violently as to defy categorization. It's an expected conclusion built up since the opening note, but as the last note fades, tragically, the listener is left with something enduring and beautiful. Something very much like a story.
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).
I love jazz because I love the freedom.
I met guitarists Oscar Aleman and Larry Carlton.
The best show I ever attended was Les Paul at Iridium Jazz Club.
The first jazz record I bought was by vibraphonist Lionel Hampton.
We sent a confirmation message to . Look for it, then click the link to activate your account. If you don’t see the email in your inbox, check your spam, bulk or promotions folder.
Thanks for joining the All About Jazz community!