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Berger, Karl / Jason Kao Hwang: Conjure (True Sound Recordings)

Subtle, beautiful, haunting, masterful and delicately commanding, the duo of pianist and vibraphonist Karl Berger and Jason Kao Hwang on violin and viola recorded these 8 dialogs in Berger's Woodstock studio, their familiarity from Hwang's participation in Berger's Creative Music Orchestra summoning lyrical and sensitive music, finding profundity in restraint.
 

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product information:


UPC: 79576912024

Label: True Sound Recordings
Catalog ID: TS02
Squidco Product Code: 28346

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Sertso Studio, in Woodstock, New York, on March 20th, 2014, by Ted Orr.


Personnel:

Karl Berger-piano, vibraphone

Jason Kao Hwang-violin, viola

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Artist Biographies:

"Karl Berger is a six time winner of the Downbeat Critics Poll as a jazz soloist, recipient of numerous Composition Awards ( commissions by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, European Radio and Television: WDR, NDR, SWF, Radio France, Rai Italy. SWF-Prize 1994 ). Professor of Composition, Artist-in-Residence at universities, schools and festivals worldwide; PhD in Music Esthetics.

Karl Berger became noted for his innovative arrangements for recordings by Jeff Buckley ("Grace"), Natalie Merchant ("Ophelia"), Better Than Ezra, The Cardigans, Jonatha Brooke, Buckethead, Bootsie Collins, The Swans, Sly + Robbie, Angelique Kidjo a.o.; and for his collaborations with producers Bill Laswell, Alan Douglas ("Operazone"), Peter Collins, Andy Wallace, Craig Street, Alain Mallet, Malcolm Burn, Bob Marlett a.m.o. in Woodstock, NY. New York City, Los Angeles, Tokyo, London, Paris, Rome.

He recorded and performed with Don Cherry, Lee Konitz, John McLaughlin, Gunther Schuller, the Mingus Epitaph Orchestra, Dave Brubeck, Ingrid Sertso, Dave Holland, Ed Blackwell, Ray Anderson, Carlos Ward, Pharoah Sanders, Blood Ulmer, Hozan Yamamoto and many others at festivals and concerts in the US, Canada, Europe, Africa, India, Phillippines, Japan, Mexico, Brazil.

His recordings and arrangements appear on the Atlantic, Axiom, Black Saint, Blue Note, Capitol, CBS, Columbia Double Moon, Douglas Music, Elektra , EMI, Enja, Island, JVC, Knitting Factory, In&Out, MCA, Milestone, Polygram, Pye , RCA, SONY, Stockholm, Vogue a.o.

Founder and director of the Creative Music Foundation, Inc., dba The Creative Music Studio, a not-for-profit corporation, dedicated to the research of the power of music and sound and the elements common to all of the world's music forms; and to educational presentations through workshops, concerts, recordings, with a growing network of artists and CMS members worldwide.Conducted CMS Residencies worldwide. In the 90s, Dr. Berger was Professor of Composition and Dean of Music Education at the Hochschule fuer Musik, Frankfurt / Germany. Chairman of the Music Department at UMass Dartmouth till 2006.Now re-establishing CMS programming in collaboration with producer Rob Saffer, directing the CMS Archive Project, recording and producing. Performing internationally with the Allstar Ensemble "In the Spirit of Don Cherry" and with numerous projects, collaborating with vocalist/poet Ingrid Sertso ( contact CreativeMusicAgency@gmail.com ). Recording a Trlogy of Piano Music for Tzadik Records. Collaborating with bassist Ken Filiano, vocalist Ingrid Sertso (KIK) + guitarist Kenny Wessel (KIKK). The Karl Berger Improvisers Orchestra, completed 75 performances in New York since the Spring of 2011 (see BLOG at www.karlberger.org). New collaboration in Europe with drummer Baby Sommer, bassist Antonio Borghini, guitarist Carsten Radtke, vocalist/poet Ingrid Sertso (DIFFERENT STANDARDS). Collaborating with cornetist Ken Knuffke, violinist Jason Hwang, saxophonists Ivo Perelman, Peter Apfelbaum, Mercedes Figueras, drummers Harvey Sorgen, Tani Tabbal, Warren Smith, Tyshawn Sorey. bassists Joe Fonda, Mark Helias, Max Johnson, William Parker, trumpeter Steven Bernstein and others for recordings and performances."

-Karl Berger Website (http://www.karlberger.org/biography.html)
7/8/2020

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"Jason Kao Hwang (composer/violin/viola) recently released the CD Sing House, featuring his quintet, and VOICE, which features several ensembles with poetry. Sing House performances include the Vision Festival and Edgefest (MI). Burning Bridge, his octet of Chinese and Western instruments was one of the top CDs of 2012 in Jazziz and the Jazz Times. Performances include the Festival International de Musique Actuelle (Canada) and Freer Gallery (D.C.). The 2012 Downbeat Critics' Poll voted Mr. Hwang as "Rising Star for Violin." In 2011 he released two critically acclaimed recordings, Symphony of Souls, for improvising orchestra, and Crossroads Unseen, the third CD of his quartet EDGE. His opera, The Floating Box, A Story in Chinatown, was one of the top ten recordings of 2005 in Opera News. As violinist, he has worked with Wadada Leo Smith, Pauline Oliveros, William Parker, Anthony Braxton, Steve Swell, Tomeka Reid, and others. Mr. Hwang has received support from Chamber Music America, US Artists International, the NEA, Rockefeller Foundation and others. Mr. Hwang currently teaches sound design at New York University."

-Jason Kao Hwang Website (https://www.jasonkaohwang.com/short-bio)
7/8/2020

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:


1. Prophecy 4:24

2. Silhouettes 7:01

3. Beyond Reach 7:04

4. Vanishing Roots 6:09

5. Faith 5:59

6. Below Zero 3:52

7. Water Finds Water 13:07

8. Arise 6:09
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"It was a crisp, sunny March afternoon when I drove up to Woodstock to record with Karl in his home studio, which is named after his wife, Ingrid Sertso, a great vocalist. Having played in Karl's Creative Music Orchestra, we were familiar with each other and understood that our music of that day would be spontaneous and unpredictable, as life is. Without written score or any predeterminations we opened ourselves to each other into the unified mystery and light conjured within each of these journeys for which I am grateful. "-Jason Kao Hwang



"Chinese American violinist Jason Kao Hwang teams up with Munich-born pianist Karl Berger for an avant-jazz duo session whose refined tones make it a totally absorbable experience. These cultivated explorers had played together before and none of them are strange to the duo configuration - the pianist had recorded in this format with Dave Holland, Lee Konitz, Ed Blackwell, and Ivo Perelman, while the violinist did the same with Dominic Duval and Ayman Fanous. Conjure was recorded at the pianist's home studio in Woodstock and features eight improvised pieces that show their constantly openness to the moment.

The opener, "Prophecy", confirms that their voices make sense together. Berger launches the journey with a low-toned piano pedal, angular musings, and some caustic chordal movements. For its part, Hwang's melodic narrative is as dramatic as it should be, and we can almost sense the tears suggested by his violin cries. The atmosphere here is enigmatic with an inclination for wistfulness.

"Silhouettes" comes wrapped in a dreamlike aura associated with a reiterated path diligently followed by the vibraphone. Hwang is free to wander, whistling and shrieking on the violin as he seeks to provide not just notable sounds but also emotional meaning in the combination of sounds.

I point out the final cut, "Arise", as one of the most interesting pieces on the album. It unfolds patiently, developing ominous vibes that oppose rough violin creaks and scratches to occasional sustained pedal tones, sharp tone clusters, and sometimes investigative arpeggiated textures on the piano. While the atmosphere is kept stable here, "Beyond Reach", featuring Berger on both piano and vibraphone, relies on a more mutable panorama where pace, texture, and groove adjust in unpredictable ways.

Hwang plays the viola on three pieces: "Vanishing Roots", in which he draws intricate phrases and patterns by plucking the strings of the instrument; "Faith", whose introspectively dark bowed sounds play a great deal on the controlled yet occasionally febrile vein adopted; and the exotic ritual "Water Finds Water", which, clocking in at 13 minutes, is the longest tune of the set. The vibraphone work could have been inspired either by African or Asian music.

Berger and Hwang think alike, and Conjure is a reflection of their spontaneous creativity."-Jazz Trail


Get additional information at Jazz Trail
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