The art of mime, with its embrace of silence and pure physical expression, may seem like an unlikely source of inspiration for a jazz musician. But in “Walking Against the Wind,” one of Marcel Marceau’s best-loved pieces, bassist/composer Linda Oh found a stunning metaphor for the life of an artist.
Marceau’s graceful but frustrated motion, which also inspired Michael Jackson’s iconic moonwalk, found the legendary mime fighting against invisible but pervasive forces while also embracing the beauty and pleasure to be found in taking the paths in life that offer greater challenges – but also richer rewards.
On her fourth album, Walk Against Wind, Oh explores both the challenges and the rich rewards of an artist’s journey. “Walk Against Wind is about the paths that we choose,” Oh explains. “Sometimes they end up being the harder paths, but in the long run they prove more fruitful.”
The album is the spiritual successor to Oh’s acclaimed 2013 release Sun Pictures, with returning saxophonist Ben Wendel joined by guitarist Matthew Stevens drummer Justin Brown.
In addition, pianist/keyboardist Fabian Almazan and Korean traditional musician Minji Park appear as special guests with the quartet, which has been workshopping Oh’s compositions at a variety of New York hotspots including the 55 Bar, the Jazz Gallery and Minton’s Harlem.