Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

2

Madeline Eastman + Randy Porter: A Quiet Thing

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
When Bay Area vocalist Madeline Eastman released Bare: A Collection Of Ballads (Mad-Kat, 2001), it was a bit of a departure from her previous recorded work. By that point, she was a decade into a critically acclaimed recording career and she had established herself as an adventurous, risk-taking, creative artist with albums like Point Of Departure (Madkat, 1990), featuring trumpeter Tom Harrell, and Mad About Madeline! (Madkat, 1991), with pianist Cedar Walton, saxophonist Phil Woods and guest vocalist Mark Murphy. Some might have viewed her sudden, quiet-and-introspective turn as something new, but for Eastman, it was actually a return to form; her fondness for ballads predates all of her early releases.

In the brief liner notes for A Quiet Thing, Eastman notes that she once took stock of her repertoire when she started to sing and quickly discovered that "the list was 98% ballads." She branched out beyond this area and built up a diverse repertoire that covers the full spectrum of this music, but she never lost her love of the sensitive, softer side of things. Bare, which paired her up with pianist Tom Garvin, brought her back to this soul searching music and A Quiet Thing is most definitely a sequel.

Garvin, who passed away in 2011, is sadly missed here, but pianist Randy Porter fills his shoes without a problem and sounds fantastic. His balanced approach to the instrument makes him a perfect partner and accompanist for Eastman. He avoids excessive pedaling and the percussive-equals-emotional mentality that many lesser pianists fall prey to when accompanying singers; Porter's subtlety is mirrored in Eastman's delivery, as she avoids overt ornamentation of any kind in favor of lyric recitations. Slight vibrato and sliding pitches can be heard, but no attention is ever drawn to either one; Eastman uses them to serve the song, not herself.

Slow tempos and gentle developments are, obviously, a given across the whole program, but Eastman imbues each tune with different qualities. Optimism in the face of uncertainty is a theme that sneaks into a few numbers and love, whether lost, found or somewhere around, pops into the picture as well. Highlights include "Alfie," "Pick Yourself Up," Randy Newman's Beaches-associated "I Think It's Going To Rain Today," "I Remember" and the brief, album-closing "God Only Knows."

Power in music isn't measured in terms of decibels or athleticism, but through connective abilities. Music that strikes a chord with a listener, making its mark in their ears and soul, is powerful music that matters; A Quiet Thing does just that.

Track Listing: Alfie; Pick Yourself Up; Sea Journey; Spring Can Really Hang You Up; A Face Like Yours; I Remember; The Band And The Beautiful; All Of Us In It; I Never Meant To Hurt You; You Are All I Need; It's A Quiet Thing; I Think It's Going To Rain Today; With One More Look At You.

Personnel: Madeline Eastman: vocals; Randy Porter: piano.

Title: A Quiet Thing | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Mad-Kat


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Lavaman CD/LP/Track Review Lavaman
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32 CD/LP/Track Review Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32
by Don Phipps
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends" CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "June" CD/LP/Track Review June
by John Sharpe
Published: March 18, 2017
Read "Live at U of T" CD/LP/Track Review Live at U of T
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 7, 2017
Read "Leon" CD/LP/Track Review Leon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 11, 2017
Read "Double Strike" CD/LP/Track Review Double Strike
by James Nadal
Published: May 31, 2017
Read "The Django Experiment I & II" CD/LP/Track Review The Django Experiment I & II
by Peter Jurew
Published: April 2, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!