Like most who’ve heard the young Aussie bassist Linda Oh, my starting point was hearing her fresh debut recording “Entry”. Besides the fact that she just kind of materialized on the scene untethered to advance hype, the record was first of all curious because Ms. Oh took the hang-fly route and played her music with a lean and mean trio, including other promising peers drummer Obed Calvaire and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire. The presence of those young firebreathers further stirred the interest.
To properly appreciate a new artist one must experience them live. That opportunity came a couple of months ago when ASCAP presented a young composer/songwriter showcase on the Kennedy Center’s Millenium Stage. This time working with Marcus Gillmore on drums and Akinmusire, the petite Ms. Oh strode up to the bass confidently and delivered a set of her originals that, though there were more than a few twists, turns and the occasional knotty passage, garnered much-deserved appreciation from an audience that may have been there more for the singer-songwriter who followed. Clearly some questions were in order for this promising newcomer.