Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Linda May Han Oh - Walk Against Wind (BIOPHILIA RECORDS 2017)

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 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 album is the spiritual successor to Oh’s acclaimed 2013 release Sun Pictures, with returning saxophonist Ben Wendel joined by guitarist Matthew Stevens drummer Justin Brown. 

In addition, pianist/keyboardist Fabian Almazan 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. - Shaun Brady

1. Lucid Lullaby 07:48
2. Firedancer 03:44
3. Speech Impediment 06:57
4. Perpluzzle 03:55
5. Walk Against Wind 07:28
6. Ikan Bilis 06:51
7. Mother Reason 04:16
8. Mantis 04:54
9. Deepsea Dancers 06:38
10. Midnight 06:42
11. Western 04:15

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