Crossroads Unseen, Jason Kao Hwang/EDGE
by Gianpaolo Galasi
Oct. 28, 2011
Jason Kao Hwang has been rewarded this year by Down Beat magazine with second place as a 'Rising Star of 2011 of Violin'. Fortunately Commitment, The Complete Recordings 1981-1983 we mentioned just a few months ago, 'reprint of the Year' New York City Jazz Record. Jason is from the era of loft, formed by a family in America after the diaspora that followed the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1945, and from the beginning has distinguished himself by the pioneer Leroy Jenkins because his violin is unmistakably infused with Asian flavors, although not played as an ethnic instrument.
Like other sound craftsmen, and composers of money, has never received recognition equal to his other companions (think of William Parker with Hwang has just taken the first steps and with whom she shares creative and social tensions), but has actively collaborated with artists the likes of Anthony Braxton, Reggie Workman (get yourself a beautiful Altered Spaces published by Leo in 1993) and Henry Threadgill.
The quartet was formed instead of Edge in 2005 and includes the cornet and flugelhorn Taylor Ho Bynum, Ken Filiano on bass and Andrew Drury battery. Five compositions, an average of ten minutes each, for the quartet's third studio work, introduced by the precious liner notes by Steve Dalachinsky. In the best tradition of New York, the titles of the compositions refer to a speech precise, the idea of artistic creation as a vital impulse.
Elemental Determination states since the opening of Threadgill's influence in the orchestration of voices and colors, and braiding the rhythmic instrumental, in an economy that every individual expression is decorated by a different background with an elegant slide of each item inside and outside the collective feature of all the work and shown here on purpose as a signature of the entire work.
The Path Around the House mixes moods and bearing biographical kinetic memories and projections, and gives us a wonderful dialogue Hwang / Bynum and a demonstration of the ability to move with ease from Filiano rhythmic elasticity to a tense and bitter lyricism. Transient other hand, is a ballad, with the phone to emphasize the edge of the item and then to weave skillfully on the violin movements Interpoint, AACM-style, from meditative percussion and a bow on a low load of sweet bitterness.
Here and there on tracks, some rhythmic nuances taken from the streets of the Big Apple's colorful and spicy sides tighter that the moments of stillness, while the Crossroads Unseen microtones are in their moment of maximum expansion and beauty. We understand why this is the composition of the album as a signal post, perhaps unfortunate that, in such hyper-modern and consequent inattention, a gem like this may go unnoticed, perhaps because of surface damage that everything has already been said.
What a paradox if we think that this is music that is always in the here and now, based sull'affordance and then living, with its wealth of history, within a relationship which are music and the listener are constant resonance, as suggested by the close of One Day, suggested that in a circular motion seems to move at the beginning of coordinates similar to those offered by the disc, but renewing the conversation with the tensions and the openings we have enjoyed during transit .
- Gianpaolo Galasi, mescaline.it, October 28, 2011