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.

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.


Linda Oh Trio-Entry [Linda Oh Music]

Linda Oh, born in Malaysia, raised in Australia, and currently living in New York, is a 25-year-old acoustic bassist with remarkable gifts. Entry, her debut, is a resounding statement of this fact, demonstrating conceptual maturity and prodigious instrumental strength. The trio setting suits her, as do her sidemen, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and drummer Obed Calvaire. In this intimate ensemble, Oh reveals a conversational compositional voice and a finely tuned brand of collective improvisation that is spontaneous, but never muddled.

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Linda May Han Oh: Walking the Balance

The title of Linda may Han Oh’s walk against the Wind captures her fantastic journey: from playing Joan Jett covers in an Australian rock band as a teen to becoming an A-list acoustic bassist in the jazz capital of the world in her 20s.

John Benitez, Purpose [Seed Music]

John Benitez, who has anchored the likes of Eddie Palmieri, Hilton Ruiz, Chick Corea, and the Mingus Big Band, is the bass world’s version of a double-double: fiercely fluent in jazz and Afro-Cuban music on both upright and electric bass.

Brian Bromberg: It Is What It Is [Mack Avenue-Artistry Music]

Never one to shun the smooth jazz specter, it seems only fitting that Brian Bromberg jumpstarts the sagging idiom with his vibrant latest effort. Punctuated by a 5- piece horn section and all-star guest list throughout, the 13-track disc gets down to business with the hard-swinging big band title track opener. From there come feel-good covers of “Love Shack” and “Sanford and Son Theme,” fretless poise on “Heaven,” and Marcus-nodding thumb on “Elephants on Skates” and “Mr. Miller.” For full sonic contrast, dig the resonant solo tenor bass ballad “Mirror” and the disc-closing “Slap Happy,” with Brian in shredder mode on overdriven piccolo bass.

Grand Arrival - Linda Oh Makes A Weighty Debut With Entry

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.