Album Remarks & Appraisals:
All About Jazz - Mark F. Turner
President Theodore Roosevelt's famous quote, "Walk softly and carry a big stick," epitomizes Linda Oh, the soft-spoken bassist/composer who draws total respect with her intrepid musicianship. With her highly acclaimed self-released debut, Entry (2010), and increased visibility through recording dates and gigs like Dave Douglas' "Tea for 3" Tour, Oh is emerging as one of jazz's bright performers.
Oh's sophomore release and first for Greenleaf, Initial Here, reveals even more of her savvy. Expanding from the debut's trio to a more fleshed-out quartet with virtuoso pianist Fabian Almazan, talented drummer Rudy Royston, and another young wunderkind, saxophonist Dayna Stephens, this set, which includes fresh material and a couple of standards, is a view into Oh's cultural and musical identity, drawing inspiration from many influences.
Oh's robust sound, containing bite and punch, is immediately noticeable throughout, including "Ultimate Persona," which is driven by Alamazan's eloquent pianistic language, Royston's snappy percussion, and Stephens' lyrical tenor. With its relentless swing, the command of Oh's double bass is unyielding on "Something's Coming/Les Cinq Doigts," a unique suturing of two disparate works by composers Leonard Bernstein and Igor Stravinsky. ... read more...
Personnel: Linda Oh (bassoon, acoustic bass, electric bass); Fabian Almazan (melodica, piano, Fender Rhodes piano); Dayna Stephens (tenor saxophone); Rudy Royston (drums).
Audio Mixer: Tyler McDiarmid.
Recording information: Acoustic Recording (02/2011); North 6 Media Labs (02/2011); Acoustic Recording (07/2011); North 6 Media Labs (07/2011).
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