Dominique Eade, Wallace Roney
January 1, 1970One result the financial woes you may have read about newspapers suffering through is that news holes get squeezed. The Boston Globe has been trimming its Friday arts coverage from two sections to one in recent weeks, and "Jazz Notes" has been shrinking slightly most weeks to make sure it fits the tighter space allotted for it.
That meant that this week an interesting point raised by Domininique Eade got left on the cutting room floor. Eade, who teaches at New England Conservatory, has noticed that the younger generation of jazz musicians — including her pianist Jed Wilson — is becoming less interested in the more "athletic" aspects of jazz that began becoming dominant in the 1960s and getting more and more interested in song.
Wilson agreed when I mentioned her commment to him. He said that the point came up often among his friends when he was at NEC, and that even the students who rejected the idea of returning such fundamentals as song and dance to jazz were at least acknowledging that the need to do so was worth debating.
It's an idea I hadn't heard raised quite that way before, and so I've decided to give you a few paragraphs that were snipped from the story here. The story itself as it appeared in the Globe follows below the reinstored paragraphs — it ought to be easy enough to figure out where they were intended to run.
This isn't meant as a gripe about how the story was edited, by the way. My editors, forced by necessity to make cuts, made smart ones. Keeping the story focused on Eade's recent burst of creativity and how she has worked around her motherhood duties was definitely the way to go here. But the other stuff is interesting, too, and I thought newsletter readers might want to know about it.
Also snipped from the column was a short item about two Sinatra tributes going on around Boston this weekend. In that case, I notice, the two concerts were mentioned in Steve Morse's weekly Rock Picks. So at least that made it into the paper somewhere.
Wallace Roney was the subject of this week's Calendar write up. It's going to be a busy night hereabouts on Wednesday, with Roney at Scullers, Matthias Lupri at Regattabar, Gunther Schuller's weeklong 80th birthday celebration having Ran Blake and others offering their tributes at Sanders Theatre, young saxophonist Daniel Blake celebrated his new self-produced CD ("The Party Suite") at Zeitgeist Gallery, and Nando Michelin and his group SUR performing at Ryles.
Last week I neglected to mention another appearance on New England Cable News's "Globe at Home" by yours truly. I was on live on Thursday the 3rd talking with Fred Taylor about the Steppin' Out 2005 gala fund-raiser that Ramsey Lewis would headline. You may still be able to find it here: http://www.boston.com/news/necn/Entertainment/.
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edited Eade paragraphs:
Eade has been teaching at NEC since 1984, shortly after her own graduation from there. But she didn't have Wilson as a student, though he also graduated from NEC. They simply found they share a similar sensibility toward music.
"I think probably for Jed and I, the connection that we had is about song," explains Eade. "Because I think a lot of young players had become disenchanted with a certain athletic aspect to jazz that was taking away from song."
Wilson, 24, agrees. "I think it's very common," he says. "It's generational. Among my friends at school, everyone seemed to be aware of this."
Jazz musicians had given song and dance short shrift since the 1960s, says Wilson, but the pendulum is swinging back toward those fundamentals. Hence his attraction to working with Eade.
"I'm a real appreciator of song in whatever form I can get it," Wilson says. "I was struck by the unique sound she brought, a hybrid of jazz sensibility and singer-songwriter sensibility."
Eade actually began as a singer-songwriter, and didn't shift her allegiance to jazz until she began singing it while an undergraduate at Vassar College, and soon afterward saw Ran Blake play solo piano at a Boston club and transferred to NEC.
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Inspired by the everyday
By Bill Beuttler, Globe Correspondent | November 11, 2005
Vocalist Dominique Eade's two-CD flirtation with major record label RCA Victor has come and gone, but recently she's been writing and recording a lot of music on her own. Over the past year and a half, she and pianist Jed Wilson have recorded 25 tunes together as a duo, all but four of them Eade originals.
It's new work they'll be drawing on at the Real Deal Jazz Club in Cambridge tomorrow, joined by saxophonist Bill Pierce and bassist Ben Street, both longtime Eade associates. But Eade has a special rapport with Wilson, 23.
"I hired him to do something with me at the Natick Arts Center, and it was one of those times when you're like, 'Oh, this is a really wonderful connection,'" says Eade, seated in a New England Conservatory rehearsal studio one night last week. "He was very interested in my writing, and he also has a phenomenal memory. So it was inspiring to me, because it felt like here's a place where this can go, and I can write more, and we can go forward with this."
Eade started as a singer-songwriter and didn't shift her allegiance to jazz until she began singing it while an undergraduate at Vassar College. Soon after, she saw Ran Blake play solo piano at a Boston club and transferred to NEC. Eade, 47, has been teaching there since 1984, shortly after she graduated.
Initially, her adopted genre didn't come easy. "As I got into jazz, it was hard to write lyrics," Eade says, "because the syntax of the language is so different."
Her two albums for RCA Victor consisted mostly of covers and were made as Eade was becoming a mom. RCA signed her to a contract when she was four months pregnant with her first son ("I wasn't even looking [for a record deal] at that point, after pounding the pavement for however many years"). And she recorded her first record for the label around her nursing schedule (Ben Sidran, who produced it, told her he'd "never seen an artist get out of the studio that quick," Eade remembers, laughing).
Eade decided to slow down after her second son was born four years later. But she still found herself writing music around her motherhood duties.
"Typically," she says, "I'd be strolling my son and singing and finishing up a song, and so a lot of the inspiration for the songs and the continuity that I had was through everyday life rather than sequestered away in my practice room. In some way, I think that that opened things up."
As her boys got older and more independent — they're now 9 and 5 — she found she could get to the piano more often to flesh out material with more complicated jazz harmonies. (She was getting ready to do so last week in the NEC practice room after securing a baby sitter for the night. Her husband, NEC dean of faculty Allan Chase, was away on business.)
It's this newfound ability to join sophisticated harmonies and words that has fueled Eade's recent productivity.
"As I had more time to be at the piano, I feel like something happened where the two things were coming together in a very natural way," she explains. "It's been this long process over the last 20 years to get the two things to really come together, and that's the wave of energy that I've been riding with this new stuff that I've been working on."
Dominique Eade performs at 7 and 9:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Real Deal Jazz Club & Café. Tickets $16. Call 617-876-7777 or visit www.concertix.com.
© Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
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Calendar Jazz Picks
Scullers, Doubletree Guest Suites Boston, 400 Soldiers Field Road, Boston. 617-562-4111. 8 & 10 p.m. $17, $57 with dinner.
No matter how much his own music continues evolving, trumpeter Wallace Roney (right) will likely remain forever linked to Miles Davis. It was Roney who Davis tapped to join him in Switzerland for the 1991 concert with Quincy Jones that became the CD "Miles & Quincy Live at Montreux," and Roney who the four surviving members of Davis's second great quintet - Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams - took on the road with them for a tribute tour after Davis's death later that year. "He was like my father," Roney has said, "and I never ran from his influence." But Davis's example meant always pushing the music forward, and on recent discs Roney has used sampling and other pop elements to do just that. Joining him at Scullers will be his brother, Antoine Roney, on saxophone; Davis alumnus Adam Holzman on keyboards; Clarence Seay on bass; Eric Allen on drums; and Val Jeanty on turntables. "I see my music as an extension of 'Nefertiti,' 'A Love Supreme,' Tony Williams' Lifetime, Herbie's sextet, and Miles' last band," Roney told JazzTimes last year. "I bring all those elements together and still try to play what I consider straight-ahead, innovative music."
Wed 11-16 Matthias Lupri Group with George Garzone Up against Roney that same night, vibraphonist/ composer Matthias Lupri joins forces with saxophonist George Garzone for competing sets of forward-looking music across the Charles. Decisions, decisions. Regattabar, Charles Hotel, One Bennett St., Cambridge. 617-395-7757. 7:30 p.m. $18.