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.