Linda Oh: Initial Here [Greenleaf Music]

Gotham-based Linda Oh, a fast-emerging presence on upright, pushes the rhythmic, sonic, and cultural edges of jazz on her stellar sophomore effort.
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Gotham-based Linda Oh, a fast-emerging presence on upright, pushes the rhythmic, sonic, and cultural edges of jazz on her stellar sophomore effort. Oh charges out of the gate with the compelling ostinato of “Ultimate Persona” and a smart, straightahead pairing of Bernstein and Debussy on “Something’s Coming/Les Cinq Doigts,” before gripping her bow and overdubbing bassoon on the poignant Mandarin vocal ballad, “Thicker.” Turning to electric bass (with timbrematching Rhodes), she provides a probing, Swallow-esque presence on “Little House” and “Deeper Than Happy.” Add in expressive, arching acoustic solos on “#1 Hit” and Ellington’s “Come Sunday,” and Oh and her young quartet are a free-wheeling force to be reckoned with.

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ONE OF THE SIT-UP-AND-TAKE-NOTICE bass solo CDs of 2009 was Linda Oh’s Entry, a dark, daring trio debut featuring Oh’s upright and compositions, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, and drummer Obed Calvaire. The twenty-something Oh was born in Malaysia and raised in Western Australia. At 15, after exploring classical piano, clarinet, and bassoon, Linda began playing electric bass in her high school big band and local rock bands and theater groups. Upright lessons followed soon after, and in 2004 she was a winner of the IAJE Sisters of Jazz collegiate competition in New York City. Having since moved to New York and completed her Masters at the Manhattan School of Music, Oh is fixture around town on upright and electric bass. In addition to leading her own gigs, she has backed jazz vets and rising talents including Slide Hampton, Mark Whitfield, Billy Kilson, Joel Frahm, Dave Binney, and the LeBoeuf Brothers.

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