9. Dominique Eade, The Long Way Home
Decent enough vocal jazz by an Air Force brat/Berklee grad, currently on the New England Conservatory faculty, who, if nothing else, does something else with my 50 minutes than try to convince me that she grew up in the Black church. Backing group is grade-A, with bassist Dave Holland the best known name; one Bruce Barth builds an excellent piano solo in "Rounding the Bend," the strongest of four Eade originals. Still, the overall feel is neither fun enough nor out enough to really land with me, and, let's face it, scatting is hard to take under the best of circumstances. Most interesting song selection here is "Comrades," the only version of any of Hoagy Carmichael's late-'60s children's songs I know of besides the fabulously inappropriate fusion recordings by Stark Reality, and "I'm Hans Christian Andersen" (Frank Loesser) from the Danny Kaye film -- this is the only song, for me, where Eade's tendency to treat the lyrics fairly abstractly (she's not "expressive") really makes me hear the music itself differently. More intriguing/pretentious than most Diana Krall, much less to than Patricia Barber.