Madeline Eastman

Primary Instrument: Vocalist

Born: June 27, 1954    

Madeline Eastman

DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE: Twice voted one of the Top Female Jazz Vocalists

DOWNBEAT INTERNATIONAL CRITICS POLL: Voted Talent Deserving Wider Recognition

A fearless improviser who seeks out equally intrepid collaborators, San Francisco jazz singer Madeline Eastman strips a lyric bare to reveal unspoken secrets and unanticipated meanings. With the intensity of a torch singer and the chops of a post-bop saxophonist, she’s forged a singular approach unlike any other vocalist on the scene, in what the Los Angeles Times describes as “a consummate, inventive, endlessly entertaining artist at work…a prime example of what jazz singing in the 21st century can be.” Her new collection of ballads, A Quiet Thing, a ravishing duo album with pianist Randy Porter, captures an artist rising to new heights, offering a master class in the art of improvisational storytelling. Eastman possesses an uncanny gift for communicating emotional insights with sophisticated, truthful phrasing that mainlines straight to the heart. She combines an alluringly lustrous sound with an in-the-moment ethos that turns every song into an uncharted journey prompting JazzTimes Magazine to describe her as “an inveterately unpredictable traveler who never fails to take us to magical places.” Exploring a delightfully diverse array of material, including haunting movie themes, unaccountably overlooked standards, and transformative interpretations of Sondheim, the Beach Boys, Chick Corea, Randy Newman, Alec Wilder, and Laura Nyro, A Quiet Thing captures Eastman’s startlingly intimate musical partnership with Porter. It’s a high-wire collaboration between equally fearless improvisers who treat songs less as launching pads than as living texts ripe for reinvention....
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Voted: One of the “Top Female Vocalists”
Downbeat Magazine Critic's Poll

Twice Voted:
One of the “Top Female Vocalists”
Downbeat Magazine Reader’s Poll
LA TIMES A consummate, inventive, endlessly entertaining artist at work.

STEREOPHILE MAGAZINE She’s hitting from beginning to end, sizzling and snapping with electricity, sliding across bar lines, scatting choruses, slowing to a whisper, bending melody line to her will. She is IN CHARGE.

LA TIMES A prime example of what jazz singing in the 21st century can be.

JazzTimes Magazine Eastman follows a delightfully twisted path. She's an inveterately unpredictable traveler who never fails to take us to magical places.

CD REVIEW Eastman doesn’t tinker aimlessly, she recon¬structs with purpose. She lays depth charges right from her opening.

CHICAGO READER Eastman’s great contribution lies in the tough, contemporary edge she brings to her music. She sings for adults; she even makes you glad to be one.

THE TRIBUNE Eastman is poised, fresh, arresting and electric. She has made her mark. Her show was drenched with a contemporary feel.

THE EXAMINER Her new disc is a stunning display of East¬man’s ever developing vocal style. It also documents her emergence as a significant singer.

BOSTON HEARALD Madeline Eastman has joined a very exclu¬sive club: modern jazz vocalists with something fresh to say about delivering a lyric. She’s hip without pretension, cool without alienation, she has wit and warmth, a rare jazz gift.

CD REVIEW There are degrees of coolness, and Madeline Eastman is the nth. She is overwhelmingly cool as a Lambo¬rghini Diablo is cool, or as Jean-Paul Sartre is cool. Her voice is the driest of ice-cold martinis that cuts clean through your cognitive awareness and warms your body all the way down.

The GLASGOW HERALD Eastman’s horn-like improvising, ef¬fortlessly combined seat-edge adventure with that crucial element for a singer....believability.

JAZZIZ Madeline Eastman’s star is on the rise. Eastman’s growing success in the overpopulated realm of jazz singers comes from her relentless commitment to her art.

SWING JOURNAL, JAPAN Brilliant expressive voice...she is the real thing. Ranks higher than all the new vocalists that have come on the scene in many years.

JAZZ JOURNAL She has arrived with the full palette of at¬tributes: the emotional thermodynamics and distinctive¬ness of a first class jazz instrumentalist, unerring intona¬tion, fertile imagination and the innate capacity to swing without abatement.

CITY PAPER, WASHINGTON DC Even if the field of jazz vocalists was not cluttered, Eastman’s willingness to take artistic risks would still be worthy of notice.

KANSAS CITY STAR She’s part of a refreshing new wave of jazz singers, her sound is immediate and engaging, respectful of tradition, with new, daring approaches

SF WEEKLY An exceptional singer...crisp and polished singing, graceful phrasing “a captivating listen. Eastman brilliantly explores the melodic potential of classic standards

SACRAMENTO NEWS & REVIEW Eastman has mastered the art of letting her voice breathlessly envelop a song, transfiguring pain into something of exquisite beauty.

JAZZ EDUCATION JOURNAL l If you’re aching for singing with near bottomless depth, this is it!”

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH If anyone deserved to earn a Ph.D. in vocal gymnastics it is Madeline Eastman.

ST. LOUIS RIVERFRONT TIMES This woman possesses all the tools needed to make an impact on the contemporary jazz scene.

UTNE READER Her most adventurous effort to date, artful but never arty and brimming with energy.

SF BAY GUARDIAN Her up tempo phrasing is impeccable, her melodic choices against complex harmonies are intelligent, and her slow balladry is warm and sincere...Eastman succeeds in making it her own— completely!

SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL Eastman is intense. Candlestick Park would have been a better venue for her power. She held back lest the crowd be blown into the parking lot!

SF EXAMINER ...she’s is a gem, a jewel. Mostly because she is so natural, so involved with her songs, so intent on delivering them just right, so inherently musical, that all the fussing around in which most singers become involved just doesn’t occur to her.

SF CHRONICLE Eastman is an intuitive jazz singer, combining the rhythm, phrasing, attack, inflections and improvisations of a musician with a vocalist’s feeling for lyrics and a velvety warm, from-the-diaphragm voice.

  • BUY

    A Quiet Thing: A Collection of Ballads

  • BUY

    A Quiet Thing

  • BUY

    The Speed Of Life


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Featured recording “A Quiet Thing”

A Quiet Thing

Mad-Kat (2013)
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