Having explored the music of June Christy and Chris Connor on her last album, jazz vocalist Dominique Eade is now focusing on songs of a more personal and often more revealing nature.
Four of the 12 tracks on "The Long Way Home" are original compositions, while the rest of the album is composed of a curious collection of contemporary tunes (Elton John's "Come Down in Time"), pop rarities (Frank Loesser's "I'm Hans Christian Andersen"), pop standards (Hoagy Carmichael's "Baltimore Oriole"), and seldom heard jazz ballads (Ornette Coleman's "All My Life"). It's a lot for any singer to tackle, and there are times when Eade's interest in the material she's chosen isn't easily shared. John's contribution, for one, quickly grows tiresome despite some eloquent guitar work by Mick Goodrick.
Mostly, though, Eade's instincts are worth trusting, especially when she's portraying Hans Christian Andersen with great charm and verve, or imbuing another Loesser tune, "Have I Stayed Away Too Long?" with a country lilt. "Baltimore Oriole," an improvised duet featuring drummer Victor Lewis, and the singer's own "Rounding the Bend" are also hard to resist, as both tunes radiate plenty of rhythmic allure. The latter performance is one of several that also benefits from a tight, interactive trio composed of Lewis, pianist Bruce Barth and bassist Dave Holland.
Appearing Monday at Blues Alley.
To hear a free Sound Bite from Dominique Eade, call Post-Haste at 202/334-9000 and press 8119. (Prince William residents, call 690-4110.)