The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - John McBeath

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.

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