245

Jason Kao Hwang / Edge: Stories Before Within

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Jason Kao Hwang / Edge: Stories Before Within Stories Before Within is the second album from violinist Jason Kao Hwang's three-year-old ensemble, Edge. Their self-titled debut for Asian Improv Records was one of 2006's sleeper hits, a record brimming with stirring melodies, unorthodox arrangements and stunning group interplay. No less imaginative, their follow-up blends Eastern and Western traditions with even greater conviction.

Joined again by cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, bassist Ken Filiano and drummer Andrew Drury, Hwang and company venture even further into Asiatic sonorities, exploring a wide array of stylistic variations over the course of these five long-form pieces.

Inspired by a Ukrainian street festival, "Cloud Call" opens the album with swirling counterpoint and dynamic shifts in tempo and pitch. Hwang's keening violin sings with a folksy tone as Bynum's elusive cornet escalates from fragmented, expressive cries to raspy flurries. Filiano's bowed bass resonates with sinewy verve, while Drury sketches between the lines with scintillating percussion.

"From East Sixth Street" invokes historical jazz traditions culled from the Lower East Side neighborhood that has been home to generations of improvisers, including Hwang. A swaggering pulse and funky, angular line knits the present to the past with expressive brio. Bynum's splintery brass fragments introduce robust glissandos and piercing harmonics from Hwang and Filiano, as they ascend the orchestral palpitations of Drury's multi-hued drum kit.

"Walking Pictures" deconstructs a strutting blues vamp, channeling primal soul into ethereal vespers. Ghostly ruminations yield zealous testimonials and pliant swing as the quartet alternates between austere introspection and kaleidoscopic drama.

A majestic fanfare sets the stage for the stately "Third Sight," as Hwang and Bynum careen over a propulsive vamp embroiled in vivacious discourse. Abruptly switching gears, Drury and Filiano submit their own lyrical soliloquies before the exuberant reprise.

Closing the album on a bittersweet note, "Embers" unfolds with languid, neo-classical restraint as each member contributes heartfelt variations on a plangent melody.

Another brilliant collection of forward-thinking compositions from Hwang, Stories Before Within offers a rich blend of jazz and chamber music that seamlessly merges Eastern and Western traditions into a singular, global hybrid.


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).

Title: Stories Before Within | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Innova Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Float The Edge CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by John Sharpe
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Resonance CD/LP/Track Review Resonance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Black Focus CD/LP/Track Review Black Focus
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Live At Blues Alley" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Blues Alley
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 4, 2016
Read "Happy All the Time" CD/LP/Track Review Happy All the Time
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 12, 2016
Read "Signaling" CD/LP/Track Review Signaling
by Troy Dostert
Published: May 11, 2017
Read "JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800°" CD/LP/Track Review JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800°
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Secular Hymns" CD/LP/Track Review Secular Hymns
by John Eyles
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "N.O. Escape" CD/LP/Track Review N.O. Escape
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 26, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!