New music from my album Sun Pictures releasing on Greenleaf Music this August.
Jazz bassist and bandleader Linda Oh says her new album, Initial Here, is an exploration of her heritage. She was born in Malaysia to Chinese parents, but as a toddler, she moved with her family to Australia.
Oh started taking piano lessons there when she was 4. Music was just a hobby back then, but once her uncle strapped a bass guitar around her neck, that’s when she fell in love.
Oh cut her teeth playing bass in both jazz and rock bands all over her hometown of Perth in Western Australia.
“It’s actually a really great scene over there,” she tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz. “I got to see a lot of great musicians and that inspired me to actually take a step further and actually go to college and take up upright bass and pursue it as a career.”
Many thanks to Ben Ratliff at New York Times for the kind words about my new album, Initial Here!
Casual listeners to jazz who might not tune into big differences between bass players would notice Linda Oh.
Her music leans forward at you. She has a percussive touch, graceful and sometimes aggressive, and she likes playing fast, walking or soloing or delivering a jagged ostinato. She’s justifying the role of bassist as bandleader, starting the tunes, pushing the band, delivering clean, strong rhythm and melody.