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LINDA MAY HAN OH & FABIAN ALMAZAN @ The Rechabite gets 9.5/10


Linda May Han Oh & Fabian Almazan @ The Rechabite
Sunday, November 8, 2020

9.5/10

Performing as the finale of the Perth International Jazz Festival, Perth raised bassist Linda May Han Oh and Cuban American pianist Fabian Almazan bathed the Rechabite Hall in a set of lovingly crafted modern and ambient free-jazz compositions that demonstrated both the duo’s musical expertise and their innovative ability, allowing them to free themselves from the traditional conventions of their instruments.

Han Oh swapped between her emerald-green electric bass and upright bass during the set, showcasing her extraordinary ability and musicality, while also performing vocals on two of the pieces. Han Oh’s ability to innovate was particularly evident when she played the upright bass, as the audience could clearly see just how her hands manipulated the strings with unique slaps and stubs providing these pieces with a modern feel.

Likewise, while Almazan led on grand piano, he offset the traditional modes with electronic-toned synths that added a modern minimalist layer to the performance that recalled the work of Steve Reich. The duo’s combination of the classic and modern proved exciting and unpredictable – an element that resolutely drew the audience’s focus to the stage.

At the show’s conclusion, an emotional Han Oh thanked the audience, before her partner Almazan requested further applause for her, stating how “how indebted I am to this amazing woman,” before taking her hand and walking off stage with his partner and her pregnant belly. It was a fitting send-off for the festival – not just a celebration of creative talents but also a celebration of humanity and life in these uncertain times.

MICHAEL HOLLICK

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