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Jason Kao Hwang/Edge: Stories Before Within

Composer first, violinist second. That’s how Jason Kao Hwang lists his duties on the back cover of his latest album, Stories Before Within. It’s a hierarchy that says a lot about the music that is played by Hwang’s band Edge. The quartet-which features cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, drummer Andrew Drury and bassist Ken Filiano-follows its leader through five tightly composed tracks, seldom engaging in the kind of free-for-all improvising that you might expect from an outré jazz outfit. In this case, the band establishes its avant-garde bona fides with a mixture of Far East folk melodies and a group sound that evokes Ornette Coleman’s classic quartet.

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