Jason Kao Hwang/Burning Bridge, All About Jazz - Italy
Review by Joseph Rye
(google translation from Italian)
Burning Bridge is a bridge that you are consuming in the flames of a destructive fire. In contrast, the bridge mentioned in the title of this beautiful album burns in a metaphorical sense, the flames have healing power, fuel pathos and vitality. The music of Burning Bridge is a stimulating reflection on principles opposed and irreconcilable. Bridge and fire. East and West. Condensation and rarefaction. Tongues of fire opposing intersect and produce energy, direction, change. He mentions the same Jason Kao Hwang in the liner notes, speaking of eastern and western traditions that come together and seek each other out, notation and improvisation of "poetic complexity related to sound." The titles of the songs draw bridges between words and meanings, through the similarities: "Ashes, Essence," "Fiery, Far Away," "Ocean, O Sun," and so on.
But the words are worth more than the sounds produced here, mingling with great conviction and meaningful results moods from distant traditions. Sounds of traditional Chinese instruments such as the pipa, the lute family, or the erhu, a violin Eastern Europe, which are blended with those of the same violin western Hwang, the handset Taylor Ho Bynum, Joe Daley's tuba and trombonist Steve Swell. In the wise direction (and alchemical composition) of Hwang instruments come together in different combinations, from the most thin and transparent to two, with various mixtures of strings and winds. Mixtures of stamps severe and acute, such as the earthquake of prodigious bass Ken Filiano and the instrument Eastern-head of Wang Guowei.
The combinations of timbres and colors are designed by Hwang accurately Eastern Europe and a dynamic sense, generative structure. In the five episodes of the disk takes shape which can be considered a single suite, from edgy topics such as "Fiery, Far Away," the sumptuous "Worship, Whirling," that recurs later in "Ocean, O Sun, "in the transformation of timbre transparent oriental flavor. The work of fusion between different cultural souls has nothing forced and is supported by musicians who play the wonder the idea of Hwang, masterfully working on stamps and connections. Stairs and oriental motifs alternate and assimilate the episodes free, jazz, blues. In these contrasts the individual moments shine with energy, such as the beautiful blues that appears in the middle of the first track, which draws a sharp solos of the leader, followed by interventions equally profound Ho Bynum and Swell.
Jason Kao Hwang, leader in the eighties with the band's Commitment to William Parker, whose label No Business has recently re-released recordings from 81 to 83 (The Complete Recordings 1981/1983, manages to achieve this with his Burning Bridge a profound synthesis of Eastern and Western world. Summary fueled by instinct and reflection, from spirituality and passion.
Rating: 4 stars
-- All About Jazz - Italy, Joseph Rye - February 1, 2013