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Art Attack

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Album Review

Singer Madeline Eastman's third release for the Mad-Kat label shoots out in a lot of different directions, some more successful than others. Eastman is at her best on explorative workouts (such as a wordless version of "Nefertiti" in which she is joined by The Turtle Island String Quartet), uptempo pieces where she can scat and swing and on sensuous ballads such as "The Thrill Is Gone." In contrast, her treatment of "Gypsy in My Soul" comes across as overly pushy, the lyrics of Blossom Dearie's "I Like You, You're Nice/I Like You" are not too inspired and Eastman's decision to sing in Portuguese (as heard on Ivan Lins's "Sonhos") is a mistake. An energetic version of Thelonious Monk's "Evidence" and a hard swinging "My Heart Stood Still" are much better. The supporting cast includes a trio with pianist Kenny Barron and drummer Tony Williams on half of the program; Bay Area musicians were enlisted for most of the other tracks. To Madeline Eastman's credit, she consistently stretches herself and is not afraid to take chances. The hits far outnumber the misses on this very interesting release.


Born: 27 June 1954 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

In her career as a jazz singer, Madeline Eastman has remained close to home while establishing a worldwide presence without recording for a major label, instead releasing a series of independently produced, critically acclaimed recordings. Born June 27, 1954, in San Francisco, CA, she grew up listening to pop tunes on the radio, including those sung by Barbra Streisand, Jack Jones, Vic Damone, and Eydie Gorme, among others. In her senior year of high school, she viewed the film Lady Sings the Blues...
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Art Attack, Madeline Eastman
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