Best Jazz on Bandcamp, July 2023

by Dave Sumner Read on Bandcamp

Book of Stories is arresting, captivating, and, at times, massively thrilling. Jason Kao Hwang’s trio with electric guitarist Anders Nilsson and drummer Michael T.A. Thompson dives into an adventurous fusion session where the musical influences never sit still, the trio changing their composition, playing with the ratios, and exposing the multitude of permutations inherent to fusion. The ultimate impression is of music that’s moving simultaneously in different directions—inward, to a meeting point between influences; and outward, past the hazy lines of genre boundaries. The most striking moments are those when the violinist cuts straight to the heart of things with a melodic statement—a thing of beauty that also brings about shape and structure. I’ve been listening to this album pretty frequently since it first landed on my radar, and it’s blindingly obvious that it still has so much left to reveal.