All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Catching Up With

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

4

Linda May Han Oh: Talent and Dedication

Angelo Leonardi By

Sign in to view read count
AAJ: Will you continue this partnership?

LMHO: Yes. We'll be touring in the coming months and we have a record that's coming out, which we recorded in December of 2016.

AAJ: What are the most important qualities for a bassist? And for a bassist who leads a group?

LMHO: For any bassist having a solid foundation, a grounded solidity, is essential. As a leader, it depends on the music that you write. In my music some of the melodies are very intricate but for the most part—the improvised sections—there's a lot of freedom and depending on who you're playing with, sometimes that requires you to step out front and really lead where you want things to go. At times, certain things may not go in the direction that you're trying to push for... But this balance between being that solid foundation in the background and then being able to step forward and push things and pull things your way is very important. For me another very important thing is composition. I am trying to make things interesting and it is a balance between open improvisatory sections and intricately composed sections. Like with everything else in life, it's always a matter of balance. And of course... listening is key.

AAJ: You have a special musical partnership with Fabian Almazan. What are the reasons for this long cooperation?

LMHO: Fabian and I went to the Manhattan School together. We have been playing music together ever since. And we just recently got married last January, after nine years of friendship.

AAJ: Oh, wonderful. Congratulations! Which bass players had an impact on the way you play bass?

LMHO: Charles Mingus [without hesitation. Contributor's note], Ray Brown, Jaco Pastorius, Rocco Prestia from Tower of Power, Brick Fleagle from Red Hot Chili Peppers, MeShell NdegeOcello, Dave Holland and many more.

AAJ: Who are the younger bass players you prefer?

LMHO: Larry Grenadier, Scott Colley, even if they are a little bit older than me. And then Ben Williams, Matt Brewer... so many great bassists...

AAJ: Do you consider yourself mainly a composer, a performer or a bandleader?

LMHO: I try not to think about them as separate roles. The more I do each, the stronger I get.

AAJ: In your second album Initial Here you play a beautiful Ellington tune "Come Sunday." Do you like standards?

LMHO: Yes, I do. I am still learning standards and I have been getting back to them lately. Learning the melodies but also really living the lyrics as well, because it makes such a big difference to me and how I interpret those tunes. I have found that's very beautiful. Often people encourage you to learn the lyrics but a lot of times you end up learning standards at jam sessions and you don't really have the chance of getting into the lyrics.

AAJ: Are you working on your second trumpet trio album?

LMHO: Yes, with Ambrose Akinmusire on trumpet and Tyshawn Sorey on drums. Hopefully it will be published next year.

AAJ: What do you do when you're not making music?

LMHO: I do yoga, I am working on my Spanish, I like to read a lot...

AAJ: How is today's Linda May Han Oh different from 10 years ago?

LMHO: I practice a lot and try to get better. As I look back, I think about how I used to play and I am proud of my improvements as a composer and a bassist. I have a long, long way to go, lots of things to improve on, but I am happy when I look back. I am happy where I am, playing with great musicians and I get to write music and travel and play. It's a privilege and I am grateful for that.

Photo credit: Luciano Rossetti

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Catching Up With
Interviews
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Walk Against Wind

Walk Against Wind

Biophilia Records
2017

buy
Pascal’s Triangle

Pascal’s Triangle

Point of Departure, WMPG-FM
2013

buy
Sun Pictures

Sun Pictures

Greenleaf Music
2013

buy
Initial Here

Initial Here

Greenleaf Music
2012

buy
Entry

Entry

Self Produced
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read Gordon Au: Untraditionally Mad About Trad Catching Up With
Gordon Au: Untraditionally Mad About Trad
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Michael Feinstein: Errands and Rhythm Galore Catching Up With
Michael Feinstein: Errands and Rhythm Galore
by Rob Wood
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Zach Brock: Jazz Violin's New Wave Catching Up With
Zach Brock: Jazz Violin's New Wave
by Angelo Leonardi
Published: September 12, 2018
Read Linda May Han Oh: Talent and Dedication Catching Up With
Linda May Han Oh: Talent and Dedication
by Angelo Leonardi
Published: September 11, 2018
Read Harold Lopez-Nussa: from Havana to Indianapolis Catching Up With
Harold Lopez-Nussa: from Havana to Indianapolis
by Fernando Rodriguez
Published: September 2, 2018
Read Stu Mindeman and trio explore a Chick Corea classic at the Chicago Jazz Festival Catching Up With
Stu Mindeman and trio explore a Chick Corea classic at the...
by Corey Hall
Published: August 21, 2018
Read "Linda May Han Oh: Talent and Dedication" Catching Up With Linda May Han Oh: Talent and Dedication
by Angelo Leonardi
Published: September 11, 2018
Read "Stu Mindeman and trio explore a Chick Corea classic at the Chicago Jazz Festival" Catching Up With Stu Mindeman and trio explore a Chick Corea classic at the...
by Corey Hall
Published: August 21, 2018
Read "Django Bates: Delightful Piano Touch" Catching Up With Django Bates: Delightful Piano Touch
by Enrico Bettinello
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "Charles McPherson: The Man and His Muse" Catching Up With Charles McPherson: The Man and His Muse
by Joan Gannij
Published: March 15, 2018
Read "Gilad Hekselman: New music on the Horizon" Catching Up With Gilad Hekselman: New music on the Horizon
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: March 6, 2018