Burning Bridge 
Victoriaville, Canada 
by Byron Coley 
May 14, 2015 

 Online article

Jason Kao Hwang is a Chinese-  American violinist and composer who  emerged from the NYC loft jazz  scene. For the piece he played  tonight (May 14), "Burning Bridge," Hwang assembled an octet with the  rhythm section from his quartet,  Edge, a brass trio of avant vets and  two players of traditional Chinese  strings. "Burning Bridge" is a five-part  exploration of cultural history,  tradition and frictions, with textural  debts to Charles Mingus, Harry  Partch and Charles Ives.  The music wobbled back and forth between jazz and chamber music seamlessly. Similarly, the Chinese  instruments were fully merged into the group's sound, although there were passages in which their  unique characteristics were displayed, as in an insane duet for Hwang's violin and Sun Li's pipa.  Actually, the most notable parts of the evening were solos: an Alan Silva-style arco explosion by  bassist Ken Filiano, an incredible exhibit of weird tuba breath techniques by Joe Daley and an  intentional trombone clam display by Steve Swell that would have given Buddy Rich an aneurism.  I'm not sure it was greater than the sum of its parts, but the parts were damn good.