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Hot House
November 1991
Record Roundup
By Gene Kalbacher

Do your ears a favor by checking out the delightful, however overdue, debut of jazz vocalist Dominique Eade. Possessed of a clear, bright voice with abundant range and, equally important, a saxist's sense of embellishment and linear improvisation, Eade earns high marks on The Ruby and the Pearl (Accurate 3924). In pianist Stanley Cowell, bassist John Lockwood (of Boston's awesome trio, the Fringe) and drummer Alan Dawson, Eade has hands-on collaborators, not merely timekeeping accompanists, who either anticipate or supplement her every move on such numbers as the title track (often linked to Nat King Cole), Billy Strayhorn's "Blood Count" and "If I Were a Bell." Tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson's "Inner Urge" and Bennie Harris's "Crazeology" are very hip selections, and "If I Were a Bell," with Cowell's nifty solo (and interpolation of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"), is a timely reminder of the holidays around the corner. Eade's diction, intonation and timing—on everything from original ballads ("Worlds Apart") to up-tempo pieces (the Latinish "Maristella")—are right on the money, making The Ruby and the Pearl one of the most enchanting, tradition-keeping and –extending jazz- vocal debuts of recent years. (The Dominique Eade Trio plays the Village Gate Terrace Nov. 6-10.)

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