I am extraordinarily excited about bassist Linda Oh. I still keep her last album, 2013’s Sun Pictures, in steady rotation. I feel genuine guilt that I didn’t love it more in its time and semi-regularly sing that album’s praises to this day on assorted social networking entirely unprovoked, wondering if this shouting into the void is changing any minds at all about how utterly brilliant Oh is, how her band is, how that collection of songs is, and how it should stand throughout time as one of the finest jazz albums of this modern era. It made my honorable mentions in that year’s Season of Lists. I was a damned fool back then. (I mean, seriously, I had Stephan Crump’s Thwirl and Gilad Hekselman’s This Just In, which I both still rock, hanging out back there with her; what the hell was I thinking?) Linda May Han Oh is an astoundingly impressive musician with as much soul as a bassist as she is as a composer. She never fails to disappoint and I’ll keep telling people that forever.
In the four years since that release, she’s still been totally awesome on her own, touring with Pat Metheny, and working on her latest album, Walk Against Wind, out April 14th on Biophilia Records. She’s describing it as the spiritual successor to Sun Pictures, which would almost be all she had to say to snag me, let alone that saxophonist Ben Wendel is in tow. Yet rounding out the group this time out are Matthew Stevens on guitar and Justin Brown, who is a murderer, on drums, with pianist Fabian Almazan and Korean traditional musician Minji Park showing up here and there. The three tracks already up for streaming below — “Lucid Lullaby”, “Perpluzzle”, and “Ikan Bilis” — have already started burrowing in my mind with some sort of hypnotic powers, which is a good sign, so you should definitely be on the lookout for what’s sure to be a spectacular new album from bassist Linda May Han Oh on April 14th. I’ll certainly be keeping a closer eye on her this time around.
Walk Against Wind, the fourth album from bassist/composer Linda May Han Oh, is out April 14th on Biophilia Records. You can pre-order it now on Bandcamp.
Linda Oh – acoustic bass
Ben Wendel – tenor saxophone
Matthew Stevens – guitar
Justin Brown – drums
Fabian Almazan – piano (tracks 2, 6, 10)
Minji Park – janggu & kkwaenggwari (track 8)
Recorded at Brooklyn Recording
on March 1 & 2, 2016
Engineered by Tyler MacDiarmid & Andy Taub
Mixed and Mastered by David Darlington at Bass Hit Studios
Nextbop Editor-in-Chief Anthony Dean-Harris hosts the modern jazz radio show, The Line-Up, Fridays at 9pm CST on 91.7 FM KRTU San Antonio and is also a contributing writer to DownBeat Magazine and the San Antonio Current.