Linda Oh Trio | Entry

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Entry

by Linda Oh Trio

Innovative, powerful musical statement using this unique trio - never lacking in energy or emotion . This is a concept album featuring clever compositions that include a blend of mixed meters, modern jazz, free improv and elements of rock.
Genre: Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Morning Sunset
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6:21 album only
2. Patterns
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6:38 album only
3. Numero Uno
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6:41 album only
4. Fourth Limb
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4:56 album only
5. Gunners
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2:10 album only
6. A Year From Now
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5:36 album only
7. Before the Music
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3:59 album only
8. 201
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5:30 album only
9. Soul to Squeeze
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3:59 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes

The title of Linda Oh’s debut CD, Entry, describes not only her
emergence as a leader, but her arrival amongst the ranks of bassists
who step out of the sidelines into the spotlight with a strong,
cohesive vision. Alongside Ambrose Akinmusire on trumpet and drummer
Obed Calvaire, Oh offers a compelling three-way conversation in which
she serves as both equal voice and steely anchor.

“So many musicians want to do everything with their first album,” Oh
says. “Especially bass players who play upright and electric - Here’s
me doing a funk tune, here’s me doing a swing tune… I wanted to steer
completely clear of that and have something kind of raw as well as
challenging. Basically, I knew I wanted to do something different.”

Though she achieves that goal musically throughout Entry, Oh’s
backstory alone ensures her uniqueness, even on the globally-oriented
New York scene. Born in Malaysia to Chinese parents and raised in
Western Australia, she arrived in NYC three years ago having followed
a circuitous route, culturally and musically.

Starting with classical piano lessons at age four, Oh’s musical
dabblings progressed through various woodwind instruments throughout
her school years before settling on the bassoon during high school.
But at the same time, an uncle gave her an electric bass, which she
played by day in her school jazz band at night, emulating Flea on Red
Hot Chili Peppers covers by night.

Oh’s musical tastes had been forged through the influence of her older
sister, who introduced her to “everything from the Red Hot Chili
Peppers to Faith No More to Fela Kuti to Jaco Pastorius.” That
influence persists on Entry via the trio’s hushed, tender version of
the Chili Pepper’ early-90s B-side, “Soul to Squeeze”, which closes
the album.

Having split her attentions between bassoon and bass throughout high
school, the time came to make a choice when Oh decided to further her
studies. She settled on the bass and in 2002 was accepted into the
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, where she began playing
the upright bass for the first time.

“Being brought up in Australia, especially in such an isolated, pretty
town as Perth, there were some very amazing, incredibly underrated
musicians,” Oh says. “And because Australia is so small, I find it to
be brutally honest.. it made me really learn fast.”

When it came time to record her own debut as a leader, Oh decided to
assemble a stripped-down trio for a darker, moodier sound. “The dark
blue color that I chose for the album cover reflects what I felt the
colors of the tunes were,” she says. “It’s kind of strange, but I was
looking for something a bit more honest. I wanted it to have a darker
sound, so I had to constantly tell Ambrose to aim lower than what he
would usually aim for.”

Oh chose two of New York’s most innovative talents for her trio, both
fellow Manhattan School grads. Akinmusire has followed his victory in
the 2007 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition by playing
with legends like Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. Calvaire lists
Wynton Marsalis, Danilo Perez, Stefon Harris, and a two-year stint
with Steve Turre on his resume.

The three make for a formidable unit, maintaining a taut electricity
while volleying ideas between them at the speed of inspiration. “I
wanted the melodies and the harmonies to be simple and direct to
create that raw sound,” Oh says. “Everything else – the rhythms, the
ideas – could go wherever they wanted to. Basically, I was looking to
put together my own tunes in the way that I wanted to, while giving
the other guys the freedom to really characterize them.”

That combination of edge and electricity is present right out of the
gate, in the tense pulse of “Morning Sunset”, met initially with
smears and chirps from Akinmusire’s horn before building in momentum,
with that throbbing heartbeat maintained throughout, traded among the
instrumentalists.

It’s also present in the nervous energy of Oh’s opening bass lines on
“Fourth Limb”, accompanied by Calvaire’s equally caffeinated
chattering percussion, soothed by the entrance of a calmingly soulful
trumpet melody.

Despite Oh’s focus on dark colors and raw sounds, there is no shortage
of beauty on the album, whether in the form of Akinmusire’s
chorus-like fanfare at the outset of “Numero Uno” or the bop-funk head
of “Gunners”, which hides a punk snarl inside.

It’s not quite accurate to call this a three-sided dialogue, however –
by devising clever tunes with built-in space for constant reinvention,
Oh offers a suite of tunes that reward the listener who digs into the
spaces that the trio carves out. In that sense, it’s a cooperative
effort that works via four minds converging.



Reviews


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Michael Cassidy

Great Cd
Here is what I wrote about Linda Oh about two year ago:

Last night I saw the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra at Zankel Hall in Carnegie Hall. The first half of the program was mostly Gil Evans and Miles Davis with a smattering of other composers/arrangers. The second half was Evans and Davis’s Arrangement of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.

The original recording is with Miles Davis is something I have been listening to for years, this was one of the few times that I have listened to an orchestra play jazz. Its different; few solos not much improvisation. Dave Liebman did well and it was interesting to listen a non-trumpet play the lead. At a couple points he soared.

I suddenly realized that in my mind I was listening to a quartet: Lieberman on saxphone, the orchestra, Will Clark on drums and Linda Oh on double bass. Linda and Will were impressive. I was very impressed and moved with Oh’s playing; she has got a commanding sound, so much so that sometimes it was a duet. I would love to see her in a smaller setting, a trio or quartet, where she could let herself fly on long improvised solos.

This CD proves what I wrote then was true, she is a powerful creative artist. There are solos on this CD that are so moving and beautiful that I imagine that Mingus, Garrison and Pettiford are dancing in heaven. The msuical conversation between Oh and Akinmusire for some reason of the musical conversations of Tamura and Fujii.