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Jason Kao Hwang/Edge: Crossroads Unseen

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The third outing by adventurous violinist Jason Kao Hwang’s avant-chamber-jazz group Edge, Crossroads Unseen, consists of five pieces showcasing the stunning extended vocabulary of each member of the quartet. The seemingly narrow palette of violin/viola, cornet/flugelhorn, bass and percussion thus offers an aesthetic journey through a range of textures and influences on each of the 10-minute-plus tracks.

Hwang’s writing has long combined complex contemporary music forms with influences from traditional Asian musics, not as a hybrid exoticism but as a pathway into new discoveries. From the skittering intensity of opener “Elemental Determination” through the interweaving ascensions of “One Day,” the fruits of that exploration are evident, both in the higher-order tapestries of the pieces themselves and in the intricately crafted playing that they inspire.

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