Alumna Linda May Han Oh (MM ’08) is an active bassist who has performed with the likes of Pat Metheny, Dave Douglas, Joe Lovano, Kenny Barron, Steve Wilson, Geri Allen, Fabian Almazan (BM ’06, MM ’09) and Terri Lyne Carrington. She received an ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award, was nominated for a Jazz Journalists’ Award for “Up and Coming Artist of the Year,” and was a Downbeat Critic’s Poll “Rising Star” on bass. Linda’s fourth and highly anticipated album, “Walk Against Wind,” was released on Biophilia Records in April 2017. Linda has received glowing reviews from The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times and recently graced the cover of JazzTimes.
Walk Against Wind features Ben Wendel on tenor saxophone, Matthew Stevens on guitar, alumnus Justin Brown (MM ’13) on drums, and Fabian Almazan (BM ’06, MM ’09) on piano (tracks 2, 6, 10).
“Oh makes music that is resolutely of the moment…Her innovative range and stellar improvisations have made [her] one of the most dynamic rising stars in jazz today.” —Wall Street Journal
“She’s on pace to become something rare in jazz: a bassist known primarily for her work as a bandleader.” — New York Times
“A major bass voice arrives” — JazzTimes
“On Walk Against Wind…[Oh] takes a long stride forward as a bandleader and composer. The writing is intricate but flowing, tailored to the articulate grace of her band.” — WBGO Take Five
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. 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 compelling, memorable compositions and thrilling improvisations on Walk Against Wind exemplify why Linda May Han Oh has become one of the most in-demand bassists of her generation. — Shaun Brady
Linda May Han Oh was born in Malaysia and raised in Perth, Western Australia. In addition to being an active double bassist and electric bassist, Linda is an educator and composer. Linda teaches in the Precollege Division at Manhattan School of Music. She has composed music for various ensembles and short films, participating in the BMI Film Composers Workshop and Sundance Labs at Skywalker Ranch. Prior to “Walk Against Wind”, Linda has released three other albums as a leader; “Entry” featured alumni Ambrose Akinmusire (BM ’05) and Obed Calvaire (BM ’03, MM ’05) and “Initial Here” featured alumnus Fabian Almazan (BM ’06, MM ’09).