Local jazz singer Eden Atwood has released four albums on the Concord Jazz label that showcase her reverence for (and talent with) the American popular song. Born in Memphis, raised in Montana and now living and working in Chicago, the tunes chosen by the twentysomething Eden -- and what she does with them -- highlight her status as a unique talent, one sure to grow in the coming years, whose enthusiasm is matched with an excellent set of pipes.
Her music shows the influence of many classic jazz and pop singers, including Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughn, Rosemary Clooney, Julie London and Billie Holiday.
Too jazzy to be considered a cabaret performer, Eden does emphasize ballads (though each of her four album has plenty of tunes that swing), and even her more jazz-oriented material maintains the integrity of the tune. Veering occasionally out of her classic-jazz base and into the contemporary realm, she has given a ballad treatment to the doo-wop classic "Only You" and the traditional "Auld Lang Syne," in both cases taking great pains to lend additional meaning to the lyrics.
Eden's style is more akin to an early Ella Fitzgerald (some scat singing, but not on every tune) mixed with a torch singer's touch. And while singing a few straight blues tunes (including her own composition, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," from the album of the same name, and "Cow Cow Boogie" from "No One Ever Tells You") and injecting a blues singer's emotional resonance on many tracks from her most recent album, "A Night in the Life," she's firmly a singer of standards.
Eden has really come into her own as an interpreter and singer with "A Night in the Life." Her voice is strong, and she shows her range well -- both in pitch and emotion -- on an album that doesn't have a weak track on it. Ballads, blowouts and even a little cabaret -- it's all here, and the support she gets from her working group (pianist Jeremy Kahn, bassist Larry Kohut and drummer Joel Spencer), who obviously know the material very well, gives Eden the space she needs to make every tune shine.
Eden performs regularly in Chicago and has recently been making trips to New York, the Northwest and Asia.
Thanks to Steven Rosenberg for the bio
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