The performing challenges are immense, not only in the extreme virtuosity of the music, but also in having to move from the jagged to the lyrical in the blink of an eye. Jason Kao Hwang yields nothing to previous performers of repertoire such as this in penetrating the depth and breadth of emotion that the poetry conveys, and it helps that this is a fabulous recording, allowing the wide range of tone, colour and dynamics to be heard to full effect.  Raul da Gama, World Music Report  Read Full Review

Deanna Relyea sings a bit with an operatic voice, she whispers, then she plays with the spoken-word technique, and accompanying musicians are experimenting with improvisations to the extreme then continuing with lucidity in "Vertigo" with twisted sounds of trumpet, and all sorts of piercing and screeching, introducing a concrete jazz only in the third, "Someone" with the cabaret atmosphere of blues. And every so often walking away and like tracing an abstract painting from pillar to post, not holding onto any strict principles of jazz, but indeed, this is jazz… the idiosyncratic baritone Thomas Buckner, whose wonderfully mad vocalizing is in turn grotesque, manifesto-like, poetic and subtle spoken-word enunciation that comes from the experience of his over four decade career… the composer utilized the poetry of six poets (Lester Afflick, Fay Chiang, Steve Dalachinsky, Patricia Spears Jones, Yuko Otomo and David Singer), which is a interpreted by strong vocalizing full of street speech, slam-techniques, synthetic links with the world, history and circulating fluidized time contemplated in excellently designed avant-garde art-jazz… Very inspired work for demanding listeners with skillful developments shows how each process of blending pure poetry can be configured in a truly imaginative analog implementation. Horvie,, rated 9/10 Read Full Review

Relyea shows her wide range of expression in particular on “Days of Awe” (by Patricia Jones) with a steady mix of spoken and sung lines in various emotional tones. Michalowski’s sopranino sax is also very apt on this piece. The two poems by Lester Afflick have their textual rhythms accentuated by Filiano’s sturdy bass lines and Drury’s sharp drum licks. “I Raise Myself” has a beautiful intro on bass and “Someone” has some great growl cornet from Bynum and soulful violin from Hwang. But as I have already indicated, my strongest impression from this record date is how well it works as a whole.  Lars Bjorn, SEMJA, March, 2016 Read Full Review

This album is a landmark in vibrant, truly synthetic conjunctions of words and musical expressions, of the state-of-the-art in the avant today, with the world, history and time conjoined in two unified suites of great power and merit. It is a blockbuster and a tribute to the imaginative thrust of Jason Kao Hwang and his collaborative associates.  Grego Applegate Edwards, gapplegatemusicreview,  Jan, 27, 2016  Read Full Review

VOICE, Hwang's recent release on Innova (and reviewed here), offers a striking example of his audacious artistic sensibility, and it was this striking fusion of poetry and improvised instrumental accompaniment that prompted me to contact Hwang for the following exchange. - Ron Schepper,, Feb. 2016  Read Full Interview, ALBUM OF THE MONTH, February, 2016   Read online

As a project, VOICE constitutes a refreshingly bold move on Hwang's part. It would have been easy for him to have recorded a handful of instrumentals with the musicians involved, and such a project might have been an easier sell, too. But in taking on a voice-based project, he's accomplished something impressive, not to mention something more memorable for being so rarely attempted. - Ron Schepper,, Feb., 2016  Read Full Review

 It is a music full of emotions, which transcend those that are the traditional techniques, what matters here is improvisation, the inspiration of the moment, exercised collectively.  - Vittorio Lo Conte,  Read full review

Two sequences of poems by a variety of poets, with music composed by violinist Hwang with some room for improvisation, each set with a different ensemble.  “Lifelines” has mezzo Deanna Reyea, new to me, a fascinating voice and delivery, sort of improvised, sort of sprechstimme.  - Steven Koenig, Acoustic Levitation, Best of 2015  Read full article