I enjoy several of the available free music discovery services like Pandora and last.fm and have maintained an account with a digital music service (now Rhapsody) for years. As you'll see by looking at my choices, during the Rochester International Jazz Festival, I will often take the less traveled path (like Michael Blake) and see the limited "out" (or at least "out-er") jazz available during RIJF. Why? Because I like to push my ears in different ways and discover new sounds. With the digital services I can get exposed to artists that I'd likely never hear on the radio. It occurs randomly (at least to me, but the choices of the service are based on complex algorithms based on my earlier choices and the choices of other listeners. Services like Rhapsody do the same thing, but also allow me to check something out that I've heard about or listen (when available on Rhapsody that is) to an artist who is coming to town and get a taste. So why am I relating this stuff to you? Well, I'm utilizing these tools to listen to Jason Kao Hwang's second release Stories Before Within (Innova) with the "Edge" band, who are Taylor Ho Bynum on cornet, Ken Filiano on bass and Andrew Drury on drums. The Bop Shop's Bop Arts program is bringing Jason Hwang/Edge to play in the Bop Shop Atrium at Village Gate this coming Wednesday, October 1st.
As put in a nice review of the album in the Free Jazz blog (which I've added to my list of jazz blogs in the panel), Hwang's music is "open to world influences or modern classical while being predominantly jazz." Troy Collins echos this in his review at AllAboutJazz.com, writing that through the "forward-thinking compositions from Hwang, Stories Before Within offers a rich blend of jazz and chamber music that seamlessly merges Eastern and Western traditions into a singular, global hybrid." The long pieces (most are 10-15 minutes) allow a lot of room for improvisation for the foursome, both separately and together, with the pieces creating a number of scenes and moods.
Keep your ears wide open and and explore the music, which starts October 1st at 8:00 pm. A $10 donation is requested to support Bop Arts, the nonprofit Bop Shop owner Tom Kohn put together to bring the eclectic mix of music that his great record store is known for to our ears. The Bop Shop Atrium in the Village Gate at 274 N Goodman St., in Rochester.