LINDA MAY HAN OH — Initial Here

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LINDA MAY HAN OH - Initial Here cover
4.50 | 1 rating | 1 review
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Album · 2012

Filed under Nu Jazz
By LINDA MAY HAN OH

Tracklist

1. Ultimate Persona 6:13
2. Something's Coming/Les Cinq Doigts 8:28
3. Mr. M 5:41
4. No. 1 Hit 7:19
5. Thicker Than Water 4:20
6. Little House 5:34
7. Deeper Than Happy 4:44
8. Desert Island Dream 5:34
9. Come Sunday 5:57
10. Deeper Than Sad 4:08

Line-up/Musicians

Acoustic Bass, Electric Bass, Bassoon – Linda Oh
Drums – Rudy Royston
Piano, Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Melodica – Fabian Almazan
Strings – Christian Howes (tracks: 6)
Tenor Saxophone – Dayna Stephens
Vocals – Jen Shyu (tracks: 5)

About this release

Greenleaf Music ‎– GRE-1024 (US)

#1-4,6-10: recorded at Acoustic Recording on February 2011
#5: recorded at North 6 Media Labs

Thanks to snobb for the addition

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snobb
There have never been many female bass players in jazz. Malaysia-born (parents were Chinese immigrants) and Australia-raised, Linda Oh is with no doubt among the leading.

After studies in the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (her thesis was on the classical Indian music rhythms in Dave Holland's solos), she moved to New York in 2008 where she completed her master's degree at the Manhattan School of Music and released her first album as leader all that same year.

Linda very soon became a part of New York creative jazz scene, playing and recording with trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, sax player Jon Irabagon and pianist Vijay Iyer among many others. In 2011 she became a member of the Dave Douglas Quintet, and a year later, Linda released her second album as leader, "Initial Here", on Douglas' Greenleaf label.

Of the album's ten songs, all but two are Oh originals. Her compositional talent is really impressive - the opener "Ultimate Persona" recalls Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra's Spanish revolutionary hymns-influenced songs and stays in your head for a long. "No. 1 Hit" is a beautiful mix of baroque and very playful Latin, with exceptional elegance, all - very groovy and danceful.

"Thicker Than Water" is a Chinese folk influenced song with another rising star, vocalist Jen Shyu singing in Mandarin and English. Of two non-originals, one is a brave and really successful take on classics, combining Leonard Bernstein and Igor Stravinsky on one song ("Something's Coming/Les Cinq Doigts").

The other is Duke Ellington's "Come Sunday", a piece of rare beauty here. The closer "Deeper Than Sad" is a piano-led memorable ballad with impressive sax soloing.

The band is really impressive - from Linda's regular collaborator of the time, Cuban pianist Fabian Almazan, to capable drummer Rudy Royston and tenor Dayna Stephens (who sounds here somehow less traditional than on his solo albums).

Linda's bass is a separate story though - it sounds warm, physical, but not too heavy and dominating, more as dancing over the tunes. Perfectly recorded, the music with no doubt sounds as a bassist album, but there is plenty of space for each band member's soloing. Dense sound is surprisingly aerial, worm and soft and full of playfulness.

This album of perfect tunes, variable, well played music and positive atmosphere, once started you will return back to it most probably more often than once or twice.

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