Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Fare Thee Well, Miss Blossom
If Ella Fitzgerald's voice was sheer sunshine and Billie Holiday's a poignant dusk, then Blossom Dearie's was the very first sweet rays of early morning; it was often said she sounded like a little girl, a birdie. A Verve artist, she was also friends with Miles Davis and haunted New York jazz clubs with her wispy voice and boyish haircut in the 50's and 60's, giving very personal interpretations of standards. Hear her sing her smooth, tender "Surrey with the fringe on top", her swinging "I won't dance" and her high speed "Killing me softly with this song".
She was one of my very favorite jazz singers of all times as well as an accomplished pianist, and on February 7 she went silent forever. It broke my heart.
And if you buy only one of her albums, go for Verve Jazz Masters 51: Blossom Dearie.