JASON KAO HWANG/ EDGE
Taylor Ho Bynum – cornet/flugelhorn, Andrew Drury – drum set
Ken Filiano - string bass, Jason Kao Hwang – composer/violin
Jason Kao Hwang’s new quartet EDGE is a sharp line shifting between cultures and genres, where vibrations are transformed and identities imagined.
EDGE recently performed at Tonic, Brooklyn College and the Stone, all in NYC. EDGE also performed at Sangha (Washington, D.C.), An die Musik (Baltimore), the Deep Listening Institute (Kingston, NY), and the Sanctuary for Independent Media (Troy, NY). Last summer, EDGE performed in the 2006 Vision Festival XI, both in New York City.
Their first CD, released by Asian Improv Records, charted at #14 for CMJ and #4 for Canada’s EARSHOT IN 2006. Jerry D’Souza ranked EDGE #3 on his Top Ten CDs of 2006 list for ALL ABOUT JAZZ.
Additional information is available at jasonkaohwang.com
Jason Kao Hwang (composer, violinist) has created works ranging from jazz, classical, “new” and world music. Mr. Hwang’s seminal ensemble (1990-2004), The Far East Side Band, released two CDs, Urban Archaeology (Victo Records) and Caverns (New World Records). As violinist, he has worked with Butch Morris, Reggie Workman, Pheeroan akLaff, Anthony Braxton, Vladamir Tarasov, Henry Threadgill and William Parker. As composer he has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts and New Jersey State Council on the Arts. His chamber opera, The Floating Box, A Story in Chinatown (New World Records), was named one of the top ten opera recordings of 2005 by Opera News.
Taylor Ho Bynum (coronet, various brass) is a composer and bandleader born in 1975, raised in Boston, and presently residing in Brooklyn. Bynum has established a reputation as a unique musical voice willing to take chances in a wide variety of artistic contexts. Projects range from ensembles in the jazz tradition, to work with DJs, contemporary classical composers, and world music ensembles, to composing for film and theater, to collaborations with dancers and visual artists. He leads a variety of small groups and the large ensemble SpiderMonkey Strings, and works with Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor, and the Fully Celebrated Orchestra.
Andrew Drury (drum set) is a drummer/composer whose work has been noted for its lyricism and expansive approach to form and technique. Drury can be heard on fifteen CDs (two as a bandleader) and he has performed in Europe and the Americas with Michel Doneda, Mark Dresser, Briggan Krauss, Myra Melford, Chris Speed, Jack Wright, Kenny Wolleson's Marching Band with Butch Morris, and others. A former student of Ed Blackwell, he photographs drum solos in desert and prairie settings, collaborates frequently with dancers, and has led over 700 junk percussion workshops across the U.S.
Ken Filiano (string bass), has fused the rich traditions of the double bass, bringing out the many voices inherent to the instrument. His solo bass CD, Subvenire (NineWinds), received unanimous critical praise, and was chosen by Cadence Magazine as one of the top ten CDs of 2003. Ken tours widely, performing at the DuMaurier International Jazz Festival, Banlieues Bleues Festival (Paris, France); and on many concert stages including Carnegie Hall. He was principal bassist with the Cascade Festival Orchestra from 1985 - 2002. Ken has also played and/or recorded with artists and orchestras including Bobby Bradford, Nels Cline, Vinnie Golia, Dom Minasi, Alex Cline, Ted Dunbar, and Joseph Jarman.
This disc showcases Hwang’s skills as a composer and improviser. Both aspects combine his distinctive fusion of the artful and rustic… He’s (Ken Filiano) one of the finest jazz bassists, period. The mercurial Bynum gets better every time I hear him, and Drury is a receptive, agile percussionist. As an improviser, Hwang projects an almost naïve sense of vulnerability – a quality that disappears whenever he’s compelled to assert his mastery by letting loose his colossal chops. …This is a compelling example of his work.
Chris Kelsey, JAZZTIMES
The four manage to meld their individual experiences into a group that can swing hard, evoke the pentatonics and timbres of Asian music traditions or blues edge and push toward freedom. Michael Rosenstein, SIGNAL TO NOISE, 2006
Coming to terms with sound heritages that are neither European nor African-American is one of improvised music’s newest challenges. Yet violinist Jason Kao Hwang is one player who navigates the contradictions with ease. Ken Waxman, CODA, Issue 329, 2006
…other than its strong statements from Hwang, as player and composer, is his ability to attract such an excellent quartet that beautifully interprets Hwang’s emotionally charged stratagems. And what a group it is! Taylor Ho Bynum brings his cornet and flugelhorn, Ken Filiano adds his splendid arco and fingers-busting pizzicato bass work and the massively unheralded drummer Andrew Drury continually proves his personal touch with each stroke. Jay Collins, Cadence Magazine, November, 2006
Violinist Jason Kao Hwang gathers a startling quartet to record Edge… With a flurry of recordings, Jason Kao Hwang stands poised to break through both as an original composer and interpreter of considerable skill.
Rex Butters, ALL ABOUT JAZZ, California, 2006
…the music contained on this CD is intense and emotionally alive. JAZZITUDE.COM, 2006
The compositions are also sweeping in content and breadth… Edge is a bid for serious jazz recognition. Jason Hwang’s crystalline violin tone and his obvious attention to compositional detail make him a successor to—and a step beyond—out-jazz string players like Leroy Jenkins and Billy Bang. Will Layman, POPMATTERS.COM, August 18, 2006
…Hwang is one of the more innovative American composer/instrumentalists of his generation… Edge lives up to its name in that it provokes keen listening, which ultimately speaks to the interplay within the quartet.
Bill Shoemaker, POINTOFDEPARTURE.ORG, 2006
Edge is Hwang’s newest ensemble… within contexts framed by Hwang, but only limited by the imagination of the group’s members, and with these musicians almost everything is possible. … sparks fly in this recording…
Thomas Erdman, JAZZREVIEW.COM, 2006
The album title could easily refer to the incisive sound of Hwang’s violin. He also demonstrates a mournful, vocal cry on “No Myth” and bittersweet lyricism on “Grassy Hills.” Taylor Ho Bynum’s work on cornet complements the violin effectively,
Jon Andrews, DOWNBEAT, 2006
Unlike most avant-jazz albums, this record from violinist Hwang is through-composed, taut, and swinging.
Matt Cibula, GLOBAL RHYTHM, The Destination of World Music, Sept, 2006
Jason has chosen a perfect quartet to capture his vision, as this group has their own strong sound… This quartet played a great set at the Vision Fest last month… a perfect disc.
Bruce Gallanter, DOWNTOWN MUSIC GALLERY, New York City, NY, July 7, 2006
Hwang's writing embraces freewheeling improvisation and rigid through-written composition in equal measure, allowing ample room for interpretation. Balancing intuitive call and response ensemble interplay with rousing chart-driven passages, Edge is an avant-garde thrill ride, and a high water mark in Hwang's already impressive discography.
Troy Collins, ALL ABOUT JAZZ, Lancaster, PA, June 23, 2006
The violinist (Hwang) has created works that have the harmony of jazz, the structure of chamber music, and the freedom of invention; all show an expansive, yet focused vision and use structure to varying degrees… Bynum is one of the most exciting exponents of free jazz … Ken Filiano's bass… brings in a fresh expanse of innovation; Andrew Drury's unconventional percussion accents help makes a compact whole… Hwang completes the spell, his violin a sentinel for emotional power.
Jerry D'Souza, ALL ABOUT JAZZ, Toronto, Canada, May, 2006
The compositions are strong and the band, when they need to be, is tight. Drury makes smooth but drastic shifts to complement the shifting cinematic pieces, Filiano is solid, Bynum burns and Hwang is inventive as ever. The disc blends to a whole.
Kurt Gottschalk, ALL ABOUT JAZZ, NYC, March, 2006
For more bookings, e-mail, info, or to purchase EDGE, log on to jasonkaohwang.com