The Journal of Improvised 
Experimental & Unusual Music 
Issue #50: Summer 2008 
Jason Kao Hwang/Edge 
Stories Before Within 
Innova 689 CD 
by Jason Bivins, November 30, 2007 

Edge features the violinist/violist Jason Kao Hwang alongside cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, percussionist Andrew Drury, and bassist Ken Filiano. Lovely counterpoint between Bynum and Hwang opens things up on "Cloud Call," setting the tone for an album of richly detailed but gracefully flowing themes. Too many reviewers tend to overstate the presence of "Eastern musical traditions;" Like anyone else's, Hwang's music is the product of its influences (Korean folk music, Ukranian street music, and bebop, among other sources), so no fetishistic commentary seems necessary. Simply put, he synthesizes his influences to come up with a slew of unadorned melodies, situating these at the heart of rhythmically dense group passages and open-ended improvisatory features. The leader's certainly capable of going into scratch and scrabble fantasies like Billy Bang, but he plays with a pointed, clean tone for the most part, making vivid contrast with Bynum's bestiary. Filiano's rubbery lines are all over this one, snaking through the funk of "From East Sixth Street" alongside the colorful Drury. Some of the compositions are episodic in ways that recall India Cooke's Red Handed, but the music's at its most effective on pieces like the beautiful "Embers," which contrasts cool, dark cornet with mournful high wire lines from Hwang's violin. 
- Jason Bivins, Signal to Noise,  November 30, 2007