All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

2

Madeline Eastman + Randy Porter: A Quiet Thing

Nicholas F. Mondello By

Sign in to view read count
Recently one of the sports channels delivered a segment about a deep sea diver who plummets into and ascends from ocean depths unaided by air tanks. He does it all on his own breath. In that documentary, the diver speaks about the peak life experience he encounters with each daredevil dive. The metaphors of adventure, heightened experience and certainly depth and breath, of course—are quite apropos applied to Madeline Eastman as A Quiet Thing is a terrific recording and an aural experience.

Long considered one of the finest vocal stylists on the jazz scene, A Quiet Thing is Eastman's second ballads-only duo recording. Here, the California-based songstress pairs with pianist Randy Porter over 14 gorgeously performed selections. And, while it's difficult enough for any one artist alone to achieve excellence of this level in a performance, when two artists individually reach that summit and top that by interacting at that heightened level, the result is simply other-worldly.

Eastman's is a voice of significant character and emotional substance; it's two hands held out beckoning us to join her on her escapade into lyric, dynamic and phrasing adventure. Hers is an instrumentalist's phrasing, a savvy player's sense of volume, lyric and dynamic. More Carmen McRae than any other, Eastman handles the perfectly-selected tunes gorgeously. Even those selections which are most familiar commercially ("Alfie" "Pick Yourself Up," "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most") are executed at bar-raising emotional level. With all due respect to other jazz vocalists who dwell in standard GAS and bossa fare, Eastman's work with more sophisticated material ("I Remember" "Sea Journey," "I Think It's Going to Rain Today") puts A Quiet Thing almost beyond reach.

Pianist Randy Porter is equally superb here. He is the perfect complement and compliment to Eastman's unique interpretations. His breadth of touch and dynamics mirror and enhance Eastman and never detract or distract. His harmonic range is pure Impressionistic palette. His is a consistently intelligent, cooperative approach in every manner. Porter's accompaniment could be played alone and it would shine as a Equatorial sun.

A Quiet Thing further validates Madeline Eastman's stature as one of jazz's most talented song-stylists.

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

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

Related Articles

Read Love + Time + Divination CD/LP/Track Review
Love + Time + Divination
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2018
Read Gleb Kolyadin CD/LP/Track Review
Gleb Kolyadin
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 22, 2018
Read NEVER DIE! by \\livingfossil// CD/LP/Track Review
NEVER DIE! by \\livingfossil//
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: February 22, 2018
Read 25th Anniversary Project CD/LP/Track Review
25th Anniversary Project
by Geannine Reid
Published: February 22, 2018
Read SuperClusters CD/LP/Track Review
SuperClusters
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Your Queen Is A Reptile CD/LP/Track Review
Your Queen Is A Reptile
by Chris May
Published: February 21, 2018
Read "Minor Step" CD/LP/Track Review Minor Step
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "Quantum Man" CD/LP/Track Review Quantum Man
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 11, 2017
Read "Dimebag" CD/LP/Track Review Dimebag
by Samuel Stroup
Published: December 8, 2017
Read "Little Steps" CD/LP/Track Review Little Steps
by Troy Dostert
Published: May 20, 2017
Read "Anti-Hero" CD/LP/Track Review Anti-Hero
by Mike Jacobs
Published: September 1, 2017
Read "Flying Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Flying Heart
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 23, 2018