Ayman Fanous & Jason Kao Hwang: Zilzal
by George W. Harris
February 27, 2014
Here’s an exciting duo disc that bridges music of the Far East, Mid-East Mediterranean and free jazz in an exciting way. Jason Kao Hwang supplies the voices of viola and violin while Ayman doubles of guitar and bouzouki on nine pieces that meld free improvisation with world melodies. Mysteries of a Saharan caravan exude on “Nolometer at Roda” and “DNA UNtranslated” while winds from the Aegean Sea blow in on “Mausoleum of BEybars the Crossbowman.” Free form bowing and pizzicato are found on “DNA: The Messenger, the Message” and the title track while agonizing folk sounds flat through the air on “Lapwing” and the Hellenic “Tree of the Virgin at Matariya.” Fascinating sounds, tones and journeys abound here.