Jason Kao Hwang
July 12, 2020
Human Rites Trio
True Sound, 2020
by Tom Haugen, 8/10
Jason Kao Hwang sure is a prolific artist, and thankfully his craft is extremely well executed and always thoughtful. This time, he’s aligned with Andrew Drury behind the drum kit and Ken Filiano handling string bass while Hwang utilizes violin and viola with stunning results.
“Words Asleep Spoken Awake” starts the album with 2 parts, where part 1 benefits greatly from playful bass as acrobatic strings from Hwang mesmerize and captivate, and part 2 moves at a quick pace with frisky percussion and equally adventurous strings in the furious and calculated setting that embraces funk and swing.
The back half of the listen is equally exciting, and includes the tense, emotive “2 AM”, as well as the quivering and nearly chaotic “Battle For The Indelible Truth” that’s got avant-garde written all over it. “Defiance” ends the listen and is one of the best, where space is manipulated well as each player allows their respective talents to shine in the call and response environment.
Hwang and company finished this album during the Covid 19 pandemic, and they dedicate the record to the doctors, nurses, and frontline workers who put their life on the line each day, and, of course, the many lives who have been lost during this tragedy. Now having worked together on and off for 15 years, the trio illustrate dynamic chemistry amid a rich and daring climate on this exceptional outing.
Read at Take Effect