Bassist/Composer Linda May Han Oh
Finds Beauty in Exploring Life’s More Challenging Pathways
on Walk Against Wind
Oh’s Fourth Album, Out April 14 on Biophilia Records,
Features Her Stunning Quartet with
Saxophonist Ben Wendel, Guitarist Matthew Stevens,
Drummer Justin Brown
The art of mime, with its embrace of silence and pure physical expression, may seem like an unlikely source of inspiration for a jazz musician. But in “Walking Against the Wind,” one of Marcel Marceau’s best-loved pieces, bassist/composer Linda May Han Oh found a stunning metaphor for the life of an artist. Linda has chosen to release this album under the name, “Linda May Han Oh” as “May Han” is her birth name and the name “Linda” was given to her at three years of age upon moving to Australia in order to assimilate. Marceau’s graceful but frustrated motion, which also inspired Michael Jackson’s iconic moonwalk, found the legendary mime fighting against invisible but pervasive forces while also embracing the beauty and pleasure to be found in taking the paths in life that offer greater challenges – but also richer rewards.
On her fourth album, Walk Against Wind, Oh explores both the challenges and the rich rewards of an artist’s journey. “Walk Against Wind is about the paths that we choose,” Oh explains. “Sometimes they end up being the harder paths, but in the long run they prove more fruitful.”
The album, due out April 14 via Biophilia Records, is the spiritual successor to Oh’s acclaimed 2013 release Sun Pictures, with returning saxophonist Ben Wendel (Kneebody, Snoop Dogg) joined by guitarist Matthew Stevens (Christian Scott, Esperanza Spalding) and drummer Justin Brown (Ambrose Akinmusire, Gerald Clayton). In addition, keyboardist Fabian Almazan (Terence Blanchard) and Korean traditional musician Minji Park appear as special guests with the quartet, which has been workshopping Oh’s compositions at a variety of New York hotspots including the 55 Bar, The Jazz Gallery and Minton’s Harlem.