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Linda May Han Oh: Aventurine (Biophilia)

A review of the fifth album from the bassist

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Linda May Han Oh, Adventurine
The cover of Adventurine by Linda May Han Oh

Linda May Han Oh is the current buzz on bass, employed by people like Pat Metheny and Joe Lovano. Her own fifth album is her most ambitious, combining a jazz quartet, a string quartet and, on four tracks, a five-person vocal ensemble.

Oh’s body of work as sideperson, bandleader, and composer has been erudite, technical, and meticulous. Aventurine is even more so. She has been working and reworking some of this extremely ornate and intricate material since 2006, when she was a student at the Manhattan School of Music, and she precisely manages its many moving parts. She also uses her instrumentation to create unusual textures, colors, and atmospheres. On the title track, the hovering strings are suspenseful and the voices evoke mysteries.

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Thomas Conrad

Thomas Conrad has a BA from the University of Utah and an MA from the University of Iowa (where he attended the Writers Workshop). He taught English at Central State University in Ohio, then left the academic world for the private sector. His affiliation with publications such as JazzTimes, Stereophile, The New York City Jazz Record and DownBeat has enabled him to sustain active involvement in two of his passions: music and writing.