Jason Kao Hwang / S I N G H O U S E
Andrew Drury – drum set
Ken Filiano – string bass
Chris Forbes – piano
Steve Swell – trombone
Jason Kao Hwang – composer/violin/viola
Photo by Reuben Raddding
The music is a house, with the score’s quintessential melodies, rhythms, harmonies and textures offering rooms in which musicians extemporaneously sing. In this dramatic architecture, the unique voice of each musician is empowered to individually interpret and also, transcend interpretation to become an originating spirit that is inextricably unified to the composition’s destiny. This is how music grows greater than the imagination of one to become a meta-language of memories, dreams and hope. This is how the compositions of Jason Kao Hwang house imagination, identity, and greater purpose. This is the jazz of Sing House.
Raised during America’s “melting pot” doctrine of assimilation, Mr. Hwang learned only English from his parents, who emigrated from China in the 1940’s. Not knowing the words, he always listened to their Chinese language deeply, extracting meanings from the inflection, rhythm and timbre of their sounds. These formative musical experiences have inspired his instincts as an Asian American artist.
Though Sing House is Mr. Hwang’s new quintet, all the musicians have all worked together in various constellations for over ten years. Our creative engagement continues to cultivate empathic listening and compositional understanding, while spurring the evolution of our individuality.
Hwang's music provides just the right balance between structure and freedom, as illustrated vividly on these four well-crafted tracks...Hwang's leaps and flights are especially impressive, showcasing his superb dexterity while the band surges powerfully behind him...Much of the music turns on the rhythmic foundation provided by Filiano and Drury. They possess the finely-honed instincts of having played together for years, and the complexity of Hwang's compositions requires those instincts to be fully utilized...But to be sure, all five musicians work as an integrated unit, and that ultimately is the reason why the album succeeds.
- Troy Dostert, All About Jazz Read Full Review
Never gratuitous, this is wise avant music on the cutting edge, thriving with an unmitigated magnetism, rhythmic resourcefulness, and shimmering lyricism. - Felipe Freitas, Jazz Trail, June 22, 2017 Read Full Review
The breadth of influences that composer Jason Kao Hwang is able to call upon, and his willingness to leave wide open spaces within compositions for improvising, strikes the perfect balance between meticulous planning and breathless spontaneity...It’s this kind of daring that makes a Hwang album so thrilling—that sense of sharp intelligence and creative courage. The Best Jazz on Bandcamp, May 2017 Read Full Review