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Tiny Desk Premiere: Linda May Han Oh

Linda May Han Oh performs a Tiny Desk concert.
Estefania Mitre
/
NPR
Linda May Han Oh performs a Tiny Desk concert.

Themes of reflection and resilience are on display the moment bassist Linda May Han Oh begins her opener, "Halo," a driving tune dedicated to the world of live music producers. The track, accentuated by Greg Ward on alto saxophone and Fabian Almazan's use of an effects pedal on the piano, calls to mind the grind and hustle of playing and presenting gigs. Performance of thoughtful and complex sounds is at the heart of jazz, and at the heart of Oh's impact as a composer and musician. Her work with artists like Pat Metheny, Terri Lyne Carrington and Vijay Iyer, plus her projects as a composer and bandleader (including a chamber jazz ensemble and album, Aventurine) have culminated in Oh being an in-demand jazz bassist.

In this Tiny Desk, Oh presents a mix of cuts from her 2023 release, The Glass Hours, and new works. Her theme of resilience is exemplified in "The Imperative," where drummer Mark Whitfield Jr. and tenor saxophonist Mark Turner shine. "Rise Mountains" is a conversation between the married duo of Oh and Almazan — at times a unified conversation, in others one where each takes a side. To close her set, Oh moves from upright bass to an electric for "Hatchling," inspired by her and Almazan's 3-year-old son. This whimsical song, with Oh and Sara Serpa vocalizing, paints a portrait of a tiny human discovering life and exploring a new world.

SET LIST

  • "Halo"
  • "The Imperative"
  • "Rise Mountains"
  • "Hatchling"


MUSICIANS

  • Linda May Han Oh: acoustic bass, electric bass
  • Fabian Almazan: piano/effects 
  • Sara Serpa: vocals
  • Mark Turner: tenor saxophone
  • Greg Ward: alto saxophone
  • Mark Whitfield Jr.: drums


TINY DESK TEAM

  • Producer: Mitra I. Arthur
  • Director/Editor: Joshua Bryant
  • Audio Technical Director: Josephine Nyounai
  • Host/Series Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Videographers: Joshua Bryant, Kara Frame, Maia Stern, Zayrha Rodriguez
  • Audio Engineer: Neil Tevault
  • Production Assistant: Ashley Pointer
  • Photographer: Estefania Mitre
  • Tiny Desk Copy Editor: Hazel Cills
  • Executive Producer: Suraya Mohamed
  • Series Creators: Bob Boilen, Stephen Thompson
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins

Copyright 2024 NPR

Mitra I. Arthur
[Copyright 2024 NPR]