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Jason Kao Hwang: Burning Bridge [Digipak] *

Track List

>Ashes, Essence
>Worship, Whirling
>Fiery, Far Away
>Incense, In Sense
>Ocean, O Sun

Album Remarks & Appraisals:

With Burning Bridge, composer/violinist Jason Kao Hwang sets the boundaries of aesthetic sensibilities, cultural assumptions, and his personal history ablaze. Burning Bridge features members of his quartet EDGE (Taylor Ho Bynum, Andrew Drury, and Ken Filiano) with the addition of Joseph Daley, Sun Li, and Wang Guowei.

American Record Guide, March / April 2013
His intentions are admirable in their postmodernism. Fiery, Far Away accomplishes the blend of eastern and western sounds better with its pipa and erhu matching quite well with the bass and trumpet runs.

Album Notes

Personnel: Jason Kao Hwang (violin); Sun Li (pipa); Wang Guowei (erhu); Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet, flugelhorn); Steve Swell (trombone); Joseph Daley (tuba); Andrew Drury (drum set).

Audio Mixers: Ken Filiano; Jason Kao Hwang.

Liner Note Author: Jason Kao Hwang.

Recording information: Kaleidoscope Sound, Union City, NJ (02/16/2011-02/18/2011).

Director: Philip Blackburn.

Photographers: Scott Friedlander; Jason Kao Hwang.


Jason Kao Hwang /Burning Bridge/Innova
Jason Kao Hwang is a jazz composer extraordinaire whose influences range from the far-east, modern classical and all manner of jazz history in-between. For this CD, ‘Burning Bridge’, he’s put together a fascinating ensemble of western and asian instruments, that employ a lot of glisses and portmentos to give it a thoroughly integrated sound. A lot of the works are broken into 2 sections, a kind of intro, then theme, all of it skillfully merging written out and improv playing. The ‘heads’ are fresh and quirky, which are followed by a drum and bass groove with inprov overtop. The inprov style ranges from extended technique, to lyrical to avant-bebop. All the while beautifully written out sections emerge and then subside against all the cool playing.

My only beefs; ensemble unisons could have been tighter, and there are passages of untunedness—but probably the pipa and erhu are not that easy to tune against in an ensemble. But the skill, breathing, and assuredness of the writing far outweigh those minor complaints.

Submitted on 01/30/13 by Mike Maguire 
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