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Atlantic Monthly October 1997
There are no young lions among great jazz vocalists. The singer's art requires native talent and years of experience along with a sense of when and how to apply technique. Several young veterans have hit their singing stride recently. Kitty Margolis ranges from African chants to "in-crowd" camp on Straight Up With a Twist (Mad-Kat), and Count Basie alum Denis Rowland abandons crossover efforts for modern balladry on Now Dig This! (Concord Jazz). Now Dominique Eade has released on of the year's most haunting and accomplished collections.
When the Wind Was Cool (RCA Victor), Eade's third album, is a bold and atmospheric tribute to June Christy and Chris Connor. These voices of cool, who sang with Stan Kenton's band in the 1940s and 1950s, introduced a subtle inflection to jazz vocals and popularized harmonically challenging material. Eade's rich voice, her effortless delivery, and the tasteful assurance with which she embellishes melodies make her sound totally at home with the vintage repertoire of Christy and Connor.
Much of this music is obscure, and Eade deserves credit for rescuing such tunes as "When the Wind Was Green" and "The Bad and the Beautiful." With a talented arranging team, she makes use of ten musicians in unusual small groupings, often putting guitar or vibes in the place of piano. Flute, bass clarinet, and frame drum add other dramatic touches. Excellent accompaniment, especially from Fred Hersch's piano and the tenor sax of the great Benny Golson, could easily have stolen the scene if not for Eade's commanding vocals.
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