That starts with a glissando of double bass as an echo engraves clarinet of Rhapsody in Blue. Then a cry, and a violin to the very special, unusual sound: stretched, cutting, almost without vibrato, to some light-years of the embroideries textures, that plays a harsh melody, persisting, stuffed with ruptures, on a metric one that does you to lose the account. Two other voices in form of against songs disconcerting to the cone and to the double bass - sometimes to the unison, sometimes not -, a battery that relates as much things as the other instruments, free improvisations in the middle, a double bass that speaks. "Cloud Call" is not maybe an evident one; this is definitely a card of identity.
Edge, this is the name of the formed quartet around the violinist and composer Jason Kao Hwang, "Asian American" of New York of which traverses it musical punctuates itself by collaborations with Reggie Workman, William Parker, Anthony Braxton... Names that one rediscovers equally in the journey of its companions of road, as much of signs of rallying his own sound. Ken Filiano the double bass player, collaborate uniformly with Steve Adams and Vinny Golia, Taylor Ho Bynum is the cornettiste of the housing scheme of Cecil Taylor and turned in Europe in duet and in sextet with Anthony Braxton; Andrew Drury was the student of Ed Blackwell...
The five pieces of this album to the enigmatic title, Stories Before Within, are rather long pieces (of 7 to 14 minutes). Jason Kao Hwang wants itself storyteller: every title is conceived as a history composed in a manner modulaire: written sequences - very written - expose one or more themes and use launch ramps to individual or collective improvisations, of free form, that convergent to their turn in a return of basic units. The composing jazz is omnipresent, but one there rediscovers also multiples filiations: contemporary, rock music ("From East Sixth Street"), film ("Walking Pictures"), Asian traditional ("Third Sight").
Taylor Ho Bynum is able an infinite variety of nuances to the cone, its improvisations are literally solar; Andrew Drury knows to show itself both precise and pressing, structure a collective improvisation or play a written score to the small point. The double bass of Ken Filiano speaks and sings more than she does not play. The violin and the alto one, them, cut the air for there to trace curious melodies that do not loosen you.
This is without any doubts the provision of the music More asian, More chinese and More korean, that inspired to Jason Kao Hwang this so unique work on the instrument stamps, in particular the ropes. But the Chinese ancestry of the composer does not explain all: this album carries the brand of a very unique musician, a sonorous matter that one cannot take for any other.
- Diane Gastellu, Citizen Jazz, August. 2008