Blossom Dearie was a stylish jazz pianist and singer with a style and technique which skilfully interwove her piano and “light and girlish” vocal as she accompanied herself. Her approach to piano was distinctive, using chord voicings which inspired the likes of Bill Evans who named her as one of his models of piano playing, while her voice was also highly personal, with a light and airy flavour. Throughout her career, Dearie was thought of as a “musician’s musician”. She learned piano from the age of five, initially focusing on classical music, before moving to jazz. Born in 1924, she spent some of her early career in France during the early ‘50s, which helped shape her style, before returning to the US in 1957.
This 96-track collection features early recordings with Dave Lambert, Stan Getz & Kai Winding and King Pleasure, plus recordings in France with Les Blue Stars, who became The Swingle Singers. Also included here is her album Jazz Sweet for Barclay in France, followed by the records she made with Verve between 1956 and 1962: Blossom Dearie, Give Him The Ooh-La-La, Once Upon A Summertime, Sings Comden And Green, My Gentleman Friend and Soubrette - Blossom Dearie Sings Broadway Hit Songs. Among the top musicians of the day who appear are: Ray Brown, Jo Jones, Herb Ellis, Mundell Lowe, Ed Thigpen, Cy Coleman Kenny Burrell, Bobby Jaspar, Milt Jackson, Percy Heath and Kenny Clarke. Dearie passed away, from natural causes in her sleep, in 2009.
This collection offers a feast of top quality, highly listenable jazz, and a great showcase for her talents both as instrumentalist and vocalist.