Walk Against Wind Linda May Han Oh Biophilia records Born in Malaysia, raised in Western Australia and New York-based, Linda May Han Oh (previously known as Linda Oh) has composed a variety of soundtrack music, some of which became the source for this album’s closer, Western, with its staccato sax theme underpinned by guitar and percussion.
This, her fourth release, but the first under her new moniker, features her leading her quartet recorded at several different New York jazz spots. There are 11 originals, including two with Oh’s vocals, in this spiritual successor to Oh’s 2013 album Sun Pictures and it also includes saxophonist Ben Wendel from that recording. Oh, who teaches at Manhattan School of Music and various workshops, says empathy and bridge building are key to the music in this album, which uses an increase in vocals and her electric bass. Both of these aspects are heard on the frenetically paced Perpluzzle. Lucid Lullaby combines nostalgia and catharsis to provide a lullaby for more mature listeners and includes another impressive bass solo assisted by Mathew Stevens’s inventive guitar input.
Mantis is based on a traditional Korean rhythm and opens with some delicate bass work, establishing the rhythm before the ensemble arrives with the theme and introduces Oh’s fast-time bass solo, ranging all over the fretboard before giving way to Wendel’s hectic sax. Inspired by mime artist Marcel Marceau, Linda May Han Oh’s latest recording has found a suitable metaphor for the life of an artist and explains that these songs are about the paths that we choose.