The Dominique Eade/Ran Blake Duo, featuring Dominique Eade, vocals and Ran Blake, piano. Community Music School of Springfield, 127 State St., Springfield, MA. Tickets: $15
The highly respected vocalist Dominique Eade has known the legendary pianist Ran Blake since her days as a student at the New England Conservatory. Their most recent release is Town and Country (Sunnyside Records.)
“Town and Country is a remarkable album,” writes Ingrid Monson, “offering a profound listening experience, conceptual clarity, and a reminder that true art is always deeply necessary. Prepare to be deeply moved by this collaboration from heaven. Ran Blake and Dominique Eade, each a master of tone color, mood, and finesse, take you on an arresting journey through American song for these troubled times.”
After graduating from NEC, Dominique Eade stayed in Boston and soon began teaching there. She was an active performer on the vibrant Boston jazz scene in the 80’s, forming groups with Mick Goodrick, Donald Brown and Bill Pierce.
In 1990 she released her first CD, The Ruby and the Pearl (Accurate Records), featuring Alan Dawson and Stanley Cowell. During this time she performed in a variety of contexts including soloist roles in two Anthony Braxton operas, and with Gene Bertoncini, Ben Street, Kenny Wollesen, Mark Helias, Larry Goldings, John Medeski and Tom Rainey. She recorded two critically acclaimed CDs for RCA Victor, When the Wind Was Cool, featuring Benny Golson, Fred Hersch, James Genus, Matt Wilson, and others, and The Long Way Home, featuring Dave Holland and Victor Lewis, which highlighted Eade’s arranging and songwriting.
She has been on the faculty of New England Conservatory since 1984 and also teaches privately in New York. Her students have included Luciana Souza, Kate McGarry, Sara Lazarus, Lisa Thorson, Julie Hardy, Patrice Williamson, Kris Adams, David Devoe, Aoife O’Donovan, Roberta Gambarini, and many others.
Ran Blake, born in 1935 in Springfield, Massachusetts, has created a unique niche in music as an artist and educator. His improvisations are not only informed by his vast knowledge of jazz, but also by Greek folk songs, movie soundtracks, American pop music and gospel. His dual musical legacy includes more than 35 albums on some of the world’s finest jazz labels, as well over 30 years as a groundbreaking educator at Boston’s New England Conservatory. Nearly half of Blake’s recordings are solo performances. “(They) are some of the most introspective and intensely private in modern jazz,” observes Ed Hazell. “He’s not a blindingly fast player, but few pianists can match his nuanced touch on the keyboard or the inventiveness, even perversity, with which he paraphrases and reconstructs familiar songs.” Brian Morton calls Blake’s solo record, All That is Tied, “…the most beautiful and challenging piano record of the last 25 years. And you have my solemn word on that.”