Madeline Eastman / Tom Garvin

Bare: A Collection of Ballads

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This set of sensitive ballads features singer Madeline Eastman, who is accompanied by just pianist Tom Garvin. It immediately reminds one of Irene Kral's collaborations with Alan Broadbent in the 1970s and sometimes comes close to being as coolly emotional. Eastman is probably best-known for her wit, scatting ability, and swinging style, so this project is a departure for her. All of the songs are taken pretty slow and the emphasis is on her interpretations of the lyrics. Overall, Eastman succeeds in setting a dark and desolate but often hopeful mood, recording a date worth several listens, particularly when one is in an introspective mood.

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