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"Dominique Eade's shows last year in this same room were among the best local jazz performances of 2005. Eade's singing was marvelous, whether singing actual words or applying her voice to instrumental lines. [Jed] Wilson's piano work, skilled and subtle, made plain why a guy so young has become Eade's duo partner of choice." Bill Beuttler, The Boston Globe, 2006
In spring of 2004, needing a pianist for a Boston gig, Dominique Eade called Jed Wilson, soon to graduate from the New England Conservatory. They'd never played together before. "That gig was a blast," Eade says. "The combination felt both playful and serious, right away. At the end of it Jed asked me about how I wrote." Jed Wilson: "I wanted to know the lyrics, the story, and what was behind them. I hate the idea of reading these tunes clinically, being separate from them, sideman on the sidelines."
No problem there: he's in the thick of it. Had to be a little daunting, to join the line of pianists Eade's worked with: Ran Blake, Stanley Cowell, Fred Hersch, Donald Brown, Bruce Barth, John Medeski, Kevin Hayes, Larry Goldings.... But Wilson has his own perspective, trusts his own taste (and touch, and creative chord voicings, and melodic sense) and Eade's ability to fend for herself (plummeting to her disarming low notes, ascending to "W.G."'s breathtaking high G's).
They began recording these pieces mere months after that first gig. Eade penned "Open Letter" and "Last Bus Home" for the duo, but Wilson's style fit the tunes she'd been composing already. "In my writing, I've been wanting to bring the songs further forward," Eade says: "to find a way for the rich harmonic language of jazz to lift up a lyric and bring out the story." Of her tunes, ear-grabbers include the secular hymn "Go Gently" (I bet she won't be the last to record that) and "Open Letter," with its line-ending falling seconds, and a bridge that nods to Jobim.
The duo's different perspectives fuel the chemistry: Eade knew the standards here from versions by (respectively) Helen Humes, Blossom Dearie and Nat Cole. Jed, looking in another direction, brought Leonard Cohen's "In My Secret Life," and if you wanted to spotlight Eade's gifts, as a musician who's never sounded more in command of her glorious instrument, or as an interpreter who brings out the drama in a lyric without over-reaching, you could hardly do better. --Kevin Whitehead / NPR's Fresh Air
Dominique Eade, voice
Other Dominique Eade AlbumsRead about Jed Wilson here >
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