Jason Kao Hwang explicitly refers to storytelling in the title and accompanying notes to his new CDStories Before Within, but the music itself also puts me in mind of a narrative. I can almost imagine a mental film accompanying the shifting textures and moods of this 10-minute performance. If you were to listen to the opening, with its lovely rising bass line eerily reminiscent of the clarinet glissando at the start of Rhapsody in Blue, then jump ahead to the 2-minute mark or the 5-minute mark, you might think you had moved on to another composition. Only the sporadic recurrence of the main melody, throbbing like a migraine, tells us that our dream journey is not yet over. The interaction between the band members is exemplary, and the whole track is completely free of clichés or trite formulas. A fine offering from a first-rate ensemble.
- Ted Gioa, jazz.com, November 30, 2007