by Dee Dee McNeil, musicalmemoirs.wordpress.com

Read at musicalmemoirs.wordpress.com


Jason Kao Hwang brings a certain vibrance and attention to the continuing fusion of jazz and rock music.  This is aggressive music played by Jason Kao Hwang and his group called ‘Critical Response.’  They open with what sounds like bird calls and then the trio flies onto the scene to deliver a composition titled “The Power of Many in the Soul of One.” Love that title!  This tune is dedicated to the democracy movement expanding in Hong Kong. His violin dances atop a very seductive guitar groove and invites us into the movement with open arms. The groove quickly expands to a unified aggressive mix of energy and melodies that swirl around me like an active tornado. All of Jason’s songs are over five and a half minutes long.  Some are thirteen minutes in duration and sound more like suites of music rather than a single song. Michael T. A. Thompson is dynamic on drums and takes a powerful solo during this first tune, to inform us about his talents.  He’s soon accompanied by a fuzzy guitar that turns this walk in the park into an Avant-Garde exploration of sounds, grooves, and mixed melodies.  This is music to pique your imagination and tantalize your listening experience with unexpected moments of brilliance and bluster. I found myself completely entertained.