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Blue Stars of France: Lullaby of Birdland (Released in 1954, Rating 4+)
1.Lullaby of Birdland 2. Tout Bas (Speak Low) 3. Gina 4. Plus Je T'embrasse (Heart Of My Heart) 5. Toute Ma Joie (That's My Girl) 6. Les Lavandieres Du Portugal (The Portuguese Washerwoman) 7. Mister L'Amour (Mister Sandman) 8. En 1920 (In 1920) 9. Embrasse Moi Bien (Hold Me Close) 10. Lettre A Virginie (Letter To Virginia) 11. La Danse Du Baiser (The Kissing Dance) 12. Mambo Italiano
When starting discography of Blossom Dearie, I think it is important to start with this record, not with the self-titled debut album on Verve. This French chorus record explains one of her musical characteristics, a French and European taste of her music.
Dearie was born in in New York. After she graduated school, she started to sing in some chorus group and play piano in cocktail lounges in New York. Then, She moved to Paris in 1952 and formed this chorus group, Blue Stars of France.
In this record, songs are sung in French chorus. And it is so cool! So sophisticated and fashionable. Even if we forget the fact that this the first recording of Dearie, this is a very pleasant record. And it is wonderful to know this is Dearie's first record.
Blossom Dearie: April in Paris (Released in 1955, Rating 3+)
1. Old Devil Moon 2. Autumn In New York 3. Flamingo 4. There Will Never Be Another You 5. The Continental 6. The Boy Next Door 7. They Can't Take That Away From Me 8. Moonlight Saving Time 9. The Surrey With The Fringe On Top 10. April In Paris 11. Blue Moon 12. Down The Depths Of The 90th Floor
Another prelude to Verve self-titled debut album, released from French Barclay. In this album, Dearie played piano without singing.
Naturally, this is not a hard-bop jazz piano album. She plays the piano smoothly and lightly. It is closer to the piano music that we might hear in the cocktail lounge. This type of lounge piano music has always exisited, but it was seldom recorded on the record, I guess. This record captures the mood in a good condition. It is an enjoyable music to hear.
I don't know why this record was recorded. But this record proves Dearie's talent as a pianist, and it also proves her origin as a supper club musician, not as a jazz musician.
This album, with some tracks from Lullaby of Birdland (1954), is available as The Pianist: Les Blue Stars.
Blossom Dearie: S.T. (Released in 1956, Rating 4)
1.'Deed I Do
3.Ev'rything I've Got
5.More Than You Know
7.It Might as Well Be Spring
9.You for Me
10.Now at Last
11.I Hear Music
12.Wait Till You See Her
13.I Won't Dance
14.A Fine Spring Morning
15.They Say It's Spring
16.Johnny One Note
17.Blossom's Blues Produced by Norman Granz
In 1956, Blossom Dearie came back to New York to contract with Verve records. This self-titled debut album may be the most famous record of Dearie for many people. While other records of Dearie sometimes get out of prints, I think this record has always been on the catalog.
Of course, this is the good album. But I think this is not a great record, especially when comparing with the great Verve albums that followed this. I am not sure why this record is so popular. It may be partly because of the impressive album cover. It may be because this album is somehow closer to usual jazz vocal album. (And the cover design fits to the conventional image of female jazz singer.) But as I argued above, she is not a jazz singer, but a supper club singer in a good sense of the word. From such a point of view, this album is somehow weak. So, I don't hear this record often, though I think it has its own charm.
When hearing this album as a continuation of Lullaby of Birdland (1954) and April in Paris (1956), we can find some similarity such as French chorus in Comment Allez-Vous, It Might as Well Be Spring and Tout Doucement , and piano instrumental track, More Than You Know. For me, these are the interesting parts of this record. And ordinary jazz vocal listeners might find other charms in other tracks of this record.
In short, it seems to me that she was still searching for her own style in this album. And the first peak of her musical career started from the next album in Verve.
Blossom Dearie: Give Him The Oh La-la (Released in 1957, Rating 5)
1.Just One of Those Things
2.Like Someone in Love
3.Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
4.They Say It's Spring
5.Try Your Wings
6.Bang Goes the Drum (And You're in Love)
8.The Middle of Love
9.Plus Je T'Embrasse
10.Give Him the Ooh-La-La
11.Let Me Love You
12.I Walk a Little Faster Produced by Norman Granz
Starting from this album, Blossom Dearie shows the first peak of her career in 4 incredible Verve albums. I wrote that Blossom Dearie is not a jazz singer, but a supper club singer. But in these great albums, Dearie is also a great jazz singer in her own way. They are jazzy at the same time that they are pop. Jazzy groovy is mainly made by the wonderful bass played by Ray Brown. But, piano played by Dearie sounds groovier than the other albums of hers. These mixtures of jazz and pop are the appeal of the Verve albums of Dearie.
This album, Give Him The Oh-La-La, may not be the best of 4 great albums, but very close to the best. And the upper mood moving toward the peak is fascinating.
This album starts with very impressive track. Dearie sings only with bass of Ray Brown. This is very cool. There are cute songs like the title tracks. And there are more impressive songs.
A very joyous and pleasant record.
Blossom Dearie: Once Upon A Summer Time (Released in 1958, Rating 5)
1.Tea for Two
2.The Surrey With the Fringe on Top
3.Moonlight Saving Time
4.It Amazes Me
5.If I Were a Bell
7.Teach Me Tonight
8.Once upon a Summertime
9.Down With Love
11.Doop-Doo-De-Doop (A Doodlin' Song)
12.Our Love Is Here to Stay Produced by Norman Granz
This is standing even higher among the 4 great Verve records from 1957 to 1959. In this album, Blossom Dearie sings in her cutest way. Also, a very cute album cover. This should be the first album of Dearie that you should buy, if you've never heard her.
Among the jazzy albums in Verve, this is closer to the pop album. There are very charming songs in joyous arrangement. But it is also great as a a jazz album. The ensemble of piano, bass, guitar and drums is very groovy.
I guess this is the album that I heard Dearie for the first time. Actually I heard some of songs in this album on the radio without knowing who was singing. I'd been wondering who was singing for a long time. When I bought this record just because the cover art was cute, I was very happy to find the owner of the cute voice. And I've been fascinated by this voice since then. (Maybe for 20 years or so?)
Blossom Dearie: Blossom Dearie Sings Comden and Green (Released in 1959, Rating 5)
1.Lucky to Be Me
2.Just in Time
3.Some Other Time
4.Dance Only With Me
5.I Like Myself
6.The Party's Over
7.How Will He Know
9.Hold Me, Hold Me, Hold Me
10.Lonely Town Produced by Norman Granz
1959 was the very fruitful year for Blossom Dearie. Two albums were released this year. And both of them are great. In these albums, Dearie shows her best performance as a jazz singer and pianist. These are not very catchy albums, but they deserve more appreciation.
This album gathers the songs by lyricists Betty Comden and Adolph Green. This was made because Ella Fitzgerald's songbook series became successful. But, this is not like Ella's songbook series. This is a very modest album. And this is sometimes forgotten.
This is a modest album, but it is also a very gentle and intimate album. Once I started to hear this album, time just stops running. Without knowing what songs I am listening to, I just have to realize the record has reached the end. Timeless pleasure of simple listening.
Now, this album is available on CD. (But album cover image is shrunken.. Too bad.)
Blossom Dearie: My Gentleman Friend (Released in 1959, Rating 5)
1.Little Jazz Bird
3.It's Too Good to Talk About Now
5.You Fascinate Me So
6.You've Got Something I Want
10.Someone to Watch Over Me Produced by Norman Granz
A very quite and intimate album. The best album of Dearie as a jazz singer & pianist in her own way.
This is truly a flawless album. A beautiful cover photo. The most sincere singing of Dearie. The perfect ensemble of Dearie, Kenny Barrel (G), Ray Brown (B), and Ed Thigpen (D), with the guest appearance of Bobby Jasper (Fl). European tasted track such as three songs sung in French. Most of all, the last track, Someone to Watch over Me, is absolutely stunning. (It was also included in The Very Best of Gershwin (Decca, 1997). )
This beautiful album, for the reason that I don't understand, is sometimes out of catalog. But, now it is available on CD. Get one while still it is.
Blossom Dearie: Soubrette Sings Broadway Hit Songs (Released in 1960, Rating 3+)
1.Guys and Dolls
3.Rhode Island Is Famous for You
4.To Keep My Love Alive
5.Too Good for the Average Man
6.The Gentleman Is a Dope
7.Always True to You in My Fashion
9.Life upon the Wicked Stage
11.Love Is the Reason Produced by Norman Granz
The last album from Verve. Dearie sings with jazz orchestra, now with her piano. The closest album to the conventional female jazz vocal album. Dearie's voice is sweet and cute. When re-hearing this record, I understand her singing here is very good. But this orchestra doesn't fit to her vocal style well. A good album, but the last album to buy in the Verve years albums.
Blossom Dearie : Blossom Dearie Sings Rootin' Songs (Released in 1963, Rating 3+)
1. Days of Wine and Roses
2. I Left my Heart in San Fransisco
3. I Wanna be Around
4. The Sweetest Sounds
5. The Good Life
6. Lazy, Crazy Days of Summer
8. Our Day Will Come
9. Fly Me To the Moon
10.I've Got Your Number
11.What Kind of Fool am I?
12.He Loves me Produced by Ed Mahoney
Blossom Dearie is usually categorized as a jazz singer. She debuted from Verve records in the 50s. Her records in Verve has a jazzy groove and can be heard as jazz vocal records. But actually she is not a jazz singer, she is a "supper club singer" or "lounge singer" and also a pop singer. Her records in the 60s shows clearly her pop and lounge singer approach to music in a stylish way.
The first album records after Dearie leftVerve is a novelty record for Root Beer! In 1962, Blossom Dearie was asked to sing the radio commercial song for Root Beer. And it was a very successful. (Though I haven't heard it, it is said that many Americans still remember this song..) So, Root Beer company decided to make this novelty record as a bonus record for those who bought many of products. (By the way, Root Beer is not beer. It is a kind of non-alcohol soda like Dr. Pepper. If you don't know Dr. Pepper, I don't know how to describe its taste. Well, I don't like its flavor, but American people tend to like it.)
So, this records gathers 12 hit songs of 1963. There are many popular standard songs like Days of Wine and Roses, I Left my Heart in San Fransisco, Desafinade , and Fly Me To the Moon etc.
In spite of its novelty feature, this record stands at the very important point of Dearie. It is a turning point from a jazz singer to a popular singer. As I already wrote above, the selection of songs is very pop orientated. There are Bossa Nova rhythms not only in Desafinade but also in some other songs. Considering "Getz/Gilberto", which caught the international attention to Bossa Nova, was released in 1963, Bossa Nova must have been an exotic fashion at that time. On the other hand, this is also a jazz record, too. In most of songs, the arrangement is jazz oriented. And the vocal of Dearie is close to the best singing in the jazzy albums in Verve records.
Original LP is very rare, but there is a CD reissue by minor Japanese label. (The sound quality is not very good. The rating is somehow effected by this sound quality.)
Blossom Dearie : May I Come In? (Released in 1964, Rating 5)
1. Something happens to me
2. (I'm) In love again
3. When Sunny gets blue
4. Quiets nights
5. Don't wait too long
6. I wish you love
8. May I come in?
9. I'm old fashioned
10.Love is a necessary evil
11.The best is yet to come
12.Put on a happy face Produced by David Cavanaugh
May I come in? was recorded in Hollywood and released from Capitol records in 1964. Yes, this is the pop oriented album. In this album, Dearie sings with fancy orchestra. She sings mostly without playing piano, standing up, just like ordinary pop singers. Gorgeously arranged sweet music like the cover image of the album. In spite of the gorgeous arrangement of songs, it does not spoil the sensitive, cute vocal of Dearie. Very well produced. Particularly, Charade is cool and catchy.
Asked about her dreams, Dearie answered, "I want to make a lot of money. I know I'm good but i want the money and the recognition that go with it. I want a mink coat and a little foreign car and I don't want to have worry about taking a cab uptown." I don't know how much her dreams came true. She is wearing mink coat in the cover photo, but it was not her coat; Capitol loaned it for photo shoot. Though this album was commercially successful and maybe brought her some money, she did not continue this American pop approach. Her contract with Capitol records was finished with only one album, she flew to Europe to play in small club.
Blossom Dearie : Blossom Time At Ronnie Scott's (Released in 1966, Rating 4)
1. On Broadway 2. When The World Was Young 3. When In Rome 4. The Shadow Of Your Smile 5. Everything I've Got Belongs To You 6. Once Upon A Summertime 7. I'm Hip 8. Mad About The Boy 9. The Shape Of Things 10. Satin Doll
Though she was born in the U.S., her music is full of European taste. It may be because she was in Europe in the early 50s. After making some records on Verve and Capitol in America, she moved back to Europe. (I don't know exactly when she moved.) And she was staying in Europe in 60s. Mostly in "swinging" London, I guess.
During her stay in Europe, she released 4 albums from Fontana, and this is the first one. And this is her first live album. In this album, Blossom Dearie sings and plays piano, with a bassist and a drummer. Dearie speaks with humor between songs, even she jokes. Ronnie Scott's is the small jazz club in London. The atmosphere of the album is relaxed and intimate. Her performing style as a supper club singer was firstly captured live here. Also, the song selection is pop oriented. She picks up my favorite song, On Broadway, which was written by Barry Mann et al. And one of her famous repertoires, I'm Hip, firstly appeared in this record. Audiences laugh when she sings a line of I'm Hip, "I even call my girlfriend Man, I'm so hip."
A little complaint about this album is the loud jazzy drum sound. The drummer Johnny Butts sometimes sounds too much. There is even a drum solo in On Broadway.
Anyway, in this album she seems not to care about the money that she used to dream of. She is simply enjoying playing music in front of nice audiences.
Blossom Dearie : Sweet Blossom Dearie (Released in 1967, Rating 5)
1. Let's go Where the Grass is Greener
2. You Turn Me On Baby
3. Sleeping Bee
4. Sweet Lover No More
5. Sweet Georgie Fame
6. That's No Joke
7. Peel Me a Grape
8. One Note Samba
9. On a Clear Day You can See Forever
10.I'll Only Miss Him When I Think of Him
11.Big Cities For Me
12.You're Gonna Hear From Me
Another live album at Ronnie Scott's. Blossom Dearie, playing herself piano, plays with Drum and Bass. Seemingly very similar to the former album. But this is even better than "Blossom Time" and is the best live album of Dearie.
More relaxed and less Jazzy. The drum and bass are quieter than the former one. She went one step away from a jazz singer and forward to the club singer. This contains the first version of one of her famous songs, Sweet George Fame.
Oh I heard him one night / quite by chance / now where I'm walkin', I dance / And London is not quite the same / 'Cos when he sings / The city swings / Sweet George Fame
London Bridge is falling down / Pop songs I hear with suspicion / But now at last I'm glad to meet / The sweet loving, real good musician / Oh from Broadway to Festival Hall / I have listened and I've heard them all / And they say I'm a real swinging dame / Yet I'm impressed, my ears are blessed / With George Fame
This illustrates straightforwardly beautiful communications between Dearie and London pop musicians. Blossom Dearie was hip in London in the mid 60s!
Recently, Live in London, another live album at Ronnie Scott's recorded in 1966, was released. It was made of similar repertoires like Blossom Time and Sweet Blossom Dearie. Because Sweet Blossom Dearie gets relatively rare now, Live in London may become a substitute. But the sound quality is not very good. (It does not dis-enable enjoying, though.)
Blossom Dearie : Soon It's Gonna Rain (Released in 1967, Rating 4)
1. A Wonderful Guy
2. Trains and Boats and Planes
5. How Insensitive
6. Soon it's Gonna Rain B
2. Watch What Happens
3. I Was Looking for You
5.Once I Loved
6.The Folks Who Live on the Hill
The first studio album from Fontana. 4 songs of Antonio Carlos Jobim, 2 songs of Bacharach & David, 1 song of Michael Legrand. As you might guess from these song selections, this is a light easy-listening pop album. Some kind of typical pop music in the 60 s. And it fits to the voice of Blossom Dearie. And it fits to the Japanese listeners today who like Pizzicato Five etc.
This is very rare record. It is sometimes on ebay, but usually traded over $200. So, I don't have this LP, and I only have a CDR copy from very noisy record. This should be reissued on CD.
Blossom Dearie : That's Just The Way I Want To Be (Released in 1970, Rating 5)
1. That's Just the Way I Want to be
2. Long Daddy Green
3. Sweet Surprise
4. Hey John
5. Sweet Georgie Fame
6. Both Sides Now
7. Dusty Springfield
8. Will There Really be a Morning
9. I Know the Moon
10.Inside a Silent Tear
11.Yesterday When I Was Young
12.I Like London in the Rain Produced by Peter King
The second and last studio album from Fontana. A very groovy record! Gorgeously arranged with orchestra and chorus in the late 60s pop/soft rock sound. One of the best records Blossom Dearie ever made. And certainly the best record in the pop oriented records of Dearie, and can be the best of the 60s soft rock records.
9 songs out of 12 are original songs written by Blossom Dearie. This percentage may be next to Blossom Dearie Sings(1973), which is made only with her original songs.
There are three tribute songs, which are Hey, John and Sweet George Fame and Dusty Springfield. Hey, John is written for John Lennon, who was also a fan of Blossom Dearie. This song is frequently picked up in other albums, but this is the first version of the song. Considering Lennon was making John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band (1970), I wonder how he heard this innocent sweet song. Sweet George Fame is the second appearance in the record. Dusty Springfield is also a cute song. Dearie sings;
"Dusty Springfield / That's the pretty name / It ever sounds like a game / In a green field / Happy horses play the dusty game / When it's May / Thick and paisley skies / Shining in green eyes / A magic in real / London flowers fair / Blooming in her hair"
Oh, we can say the same to her, "Blossom Dearie / That's the pretty name"!
Long Daddy Green is also her favorite song picked up often. This song is often sung simply with piano, but this version is very groovy 60s pop sound arrangement. I Like London in the Rain is surprising track with funky rhythm guitar, bass and drum. And title track That's just the way I want to be has an acrobatic melody in very sophisticated arrangement Latin percussion and orchestra. A very cute version of Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now. So many musical surprises and varieties of ideas in this record.
This record is also very rare, an original LP is sometimes traded about $200. But, unlike Soon it's gonna rain, it is easier to get on CD. Recently, there is CD reissue in an original format with a paper sleeve in Japan. This is a must for every Blossom Dearie fan. There was, and still is, a Japanese CD called Whisper for you. It is a strange compilation that combines That's just the way... and Give him the oh la-la (1957). 2 tracks of Give him... are cut. (There is also a paper sleeve CD issue of Give him...)
Blossom Dearie : Blossom Dearie Sings (Released in 1973, Rating 4+)
1. I'm shadowing you
2. Saving my feeling for you
3. Sunday afternoon
4. Somebody new
5. I like you, you're nice
1. Baby, you're my kind
3. Hey John
4. You have lived in autumn
5.Flame to fire Produced by Bob Dorough (Daffodil vol.1)
After several years stay in Europe, which resulted in marvelous "That's Just the Way I Want to be"(1970), Blossom Dearie moved back to New York, and established her own publishing company, Daffodil. And this is her first record from Daffodil.
All of the songs in this album are her original songs. There is a credit, "All compositions, vocals, keyboard instruments and arrangements by Blossom Dearie." And she is also credited as an executive producer. There is an impression of a very personal sound production. This is the DIY album.
I am very curious why Dearie made this album almost by herself. It may be a reaction to very professionally produced "That's Just the Way I Want to be". Or it is more likely to be her sympathy to the singer-songwriters such as Carole King in the early 70s. And this simpleness may be close to John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band (1970). Dearie plays mainly electric piano, not acoustic piano in this album. And Bass and Drum sometimes sound like rhythm machine and synthesizer bass. So, this album is also close to the early electronic pop recorded at home. This is not a very sophisticated album, but it is a must for Dearie fans in understanding the essence of Dearie music. In this sense, this is an equivalent to Paul McCarteny's first solo album.
The early catalogs from Daffodil, including this album, are out of print now. But they are sometimes on ebay, and not very difficult to get at not-very-expensive price.
Blossom Dearie: 1975 ("from the meticulous to the sublime") (Released in 1975, Rating 5)
A 1. I'm Hip 2. Saving My Feeling For You 3. Sweet George Fame 4. A Face Like Yours 5. Hey John B 1. I'm Shadowing You 2. Many's The Time 3. Send In The Clowns 4. Isn't It The Thing to Do 5. Feelin' Groovy - The 59th St. Bridge Song 6. How Do You Say Auf wiedersehn? Produced by Blossom Dearie (Daffodil vol.2)
This album, 1975, is the best record of Blossom Dearie, along with "My New Celebrity Is You"(1976). In these albums, Blossom Dearie reached the point that no word can describe her music. It surely can not be categorized in jazz vocal anymore, nad it is not a even pop/soft rock. It is Blossom Dearie music. So cute. So lovely. I am always feeling dreamingly happy when I hear this record.
Compared to the first album from Daffodil, the music is much more sophisticated. The cover art is fashionable. The song selection is not fresh for the listener who have liseten to the Dearies 's record in a chronological order. But the versions recorded here are the best versions of the songs. The first track I'm Hip was originally appeared in Blossom Time (1966), but this version is much sophisticatedly arranged and fashionable. So impressive. Also, Saving My Feeling For You and I'm Shadowing You, originally appeared on Blossom Dearie sings (1973), are very smooth here.
She covered Paul Simon's Feelin' Groovy - The 59th St. Bridge Song. This is the highlight of this album, this version is ten times better than the original S & G version, which is also very good. Actually, it is a very groovy track. I can feel groovy in a fresh morning air on the bridge, looking at the New York skyline.
The last track is How Do You Say Auf wiedersehn?, in which Dearie sings only with her piano. How can we say "Auf wiedersehn" to this album anyway. So, I sometimes repeat hearing this record from the A side, or start hearing My New Celebrity Is You (1976).
(May/2002, rewritten in Mar/2003)
Blossom Dearie : My New Celebrity Is You (Released in 1976, Rating 5)
1. My New Celebrity is You
2. Moonlight Saving Time
3. Smiling Feet
4. Pretty People
1. The Christmas Card
2. You'll Never Lose the Love You Give to Me
3. Killing Me Softly with his Song
4. Who Knows all the Answers
1. A Paris
2. Spring in Manhattan
3. Unless it's You
4. Inside a Silent Tear
1. Long Daddy Green
2. Peel me a Grape
3. A Song for You
4. The Pro Musiqua Antiqua Produced by Blossom Dearie (Daffodil vol.3)
The most fashionable record of Blossom Dearie. It is hard to decide which is better between 1975 and this album. In this album, Ron Carter plays Bass and Toots Thielemans plays Harmonica. Their professional performance adds more sophistication on this album.
This starts with My New Celebrity is You, newly written for Blossom Dearie by Johnny Mercer.
I dig Modigliani Jolson doing Swanee...several Maharanee are my intimates too / I played with Mantovani and that7s a lot of strings to get through/ but anyone can see My New Celebrity Is You
She keeps on singing the names of clebrities with an impressive bass line of Ron Carter. This is really a catchy tune. It is a great starting tune as I'm Hip in 1975, in which she sings, "Sammy Davis knows my friend. I'm so Hip!"
Moonlight Saving Time is also her famous repertoire, first appeared on Once upon a Summertime (1958). It is sweetly arranged with Harmonica of Toots Thielemans. The best track for me is Pretty People. Oh, it is so pretty and cute. I lose my roads.
This album contains cover versions of Killing Me Softly with his Song and A Song for You. Particularly, Killing Me Softly with his Song is wonderful. It is a famous song by Roberta Flack, and it is dedicated to Don McLean. Blossom Dearie has already sung songs dedicated to John Lennon, George Fame, and Dusty Springfield. She might be a good singer in these tribute songs. In this version, she sings in a light groovy arrangements.
While the first disc of this album is very gorgeous and groovy, the second disc is more intimate and quiet, mainly played only with her piano. I love the first disc better, but the second disc is also very good.
Blossom Dearie : Winchester in Apple Blossom Time (Released in 1977, Rating 3+)
A 1. Winchester In apple Blossom Time 2. Spring Can Really Hang you Up The Most 3. Sunday Afternoon 4. A Wonderful Guy 5. Touch The Hand Of Love B 1. Sweet Surprise 2. You Are There 3. The Wheelers and Dealers 4. A Jazz Musician 5. Surrey With The Fringe C 1. Love Is An Elusive 2. Lucky To Be Me 3. The Riviera 4. You're for Loving 5. The Ballad Of The shape Of Things D 1. Summer Is Gone 2. Sammy 3. It Amazes Me 4. If I Were A Bell 5. Winchester In Apple blossom Time Produced by Blossom Dearie (Daffodil vol.4)
The fourth album from Daffodil. This is a quiet record mainly played only with Dearie's piano. So, this is a kind of a continuation of the second disc of My New Celebrity Is You (1976). Of course, there are beautiful songs, but this album seems to lack something. It may be just because it is too quiet and too long in the two LP length. So, I don't hear this record very often.
Blossom Dearie : Needle Point Magic (Released in 1979, Rating 4+)
1. The Ballad of the Shape of Things
3. When the World was Young
4. I'm Hip
5. Baby, It's Cold Outside
1. I Like You, You're Nice
2. Sweet Surprise
3. I'm Shadowing You
4. Sweet Georgie Fame
5.Peel Me a Grape
6.Two Sleepy People (Daffodil vol.5)
The first live album from Daffodil. This album gathers typical repertoires of Dearie in the 70s. And this captures the humorous and intimate atmosphere of her live stage at the club, Reno Sweeney. She starts the stage with saying; " Good evening. Thank you very much. You are wondering why I am speaking into two microphones instead of one. Here I'll be singing into two because I'm doing a recording. Daffodil record, this will be vol.5. Is that exciting? Good." Very funny?
She sings mainly with her piano and occasionally with bass. So, it is as simple as Winchester in Apple Blossom Time (1977), but songs are much vivid here.
Bob Dorough, the composer of I'm Hip, appears in Baby, It's Cold Outside and Two Sleepy People. These duets are very humorous and lovely. They are highlights of this record.
Blossom Dearie: Simply (Released in 1983, Rating 4+)
1. I Never Say Goodbye
2. I Know My Lines
3. Sweet Kentucky Home
4. Bobby and Me
5. Answering Machine B
1. Bye-Bye Country Boy
2. I Told You So
3. I Have the Feeling I've Been Here Before
4. Just the Way You Are
5.Bring All Your Love Along (Daffodil vol.6)
Even though her most brilliant works are from the 50's to the 70's (it's a quite long time), her works after the 80's also have constant and stable quality. The designs of the covers are not so good, and they may discourage you to buy. Still, they are worth buying nor only for the collectors, though they are not the first or second albums to buy. And Simply is the must-buy for the fans. There is nothing new in this album. It is a same old Dearie. But what's wrong with it? Her electric piano is soft, gentle and groovy. And smooth backing of musicians. Mostly, cute voice of Dearie.
There are two duets with Bob Dorough, Answering Machine and Bring All Your Love Along. They are good, particularly Answering Machine is superb. This one is taken from Rupert Holmes' Partners in Crime (1979), which is one of my most favorite adult contemporary albums. It sounds as if it were written for Dearie and Dorough. And there is also a cover of Billy Joel's Just the Way You are.
Blossom Dearie: Positively (Released in 1983, Rating 4)
1. For People Like You and Me
2. Lovin' In The Present tense
3. Free Again
4. You Taught Me Everything I Know (Now Teach Me How to Let You Go)
5. After Me
1. Yardbird Suite/Medley
2. Over the Weekend
3. Sophisticated Lady
4. Stay and Love My Blues Away
5.Tell Me Softly (Daffodil vol.7)
Released in the same year with Simply, Positively is also a good album. The electric piano is also gentle and groovy, and so are the backing musicians. Phil Woods appears as a guest in 4 tracks. His saxophone is nice, but sounds a little loud. I think he does not fit to the music of Dearie very well. This is the only problem of this record for me. (Other people may think the appearance of Woods is the charm of this record.)
Blossom Dearie: Et Tu Bruce (Released in 1984, Rating 4)
1. Hey John
2. You Have Lived in Autumn
3. Alice in Wonderland
4. I Won't Dance
5. The Riviera
1. Someone's Been Sending Me Flowers
2. Winchester in Apple Blossom Time
4. Inside a Silent Tear
5.Satin Doll (Daffodil vol.8)
Et Tu Bruce was recorded live at The Ballroom in New York. This is a sequel to Needle Point Magic (1979). This starts with the same type of joke with Needle Point Magic (1979). "This is volume 8. Can you understand it?" Dearie's jokes are funny. And the audiences are very friendly and cheerful. Very enjoyable album.
So, this is as good as Needle Point Magic (1979), with many popular repertoires. It starts with Hey John, with the dedication to John Lennon. Alice in Wonderland is a new repertoire, and sounds charming.
Blossom Dearie: Chez Wahlberg Part One (Released in 1985, Rating 3)
A 1. Only Yesterday
2. Sad Song Lady
3. Are You Still in Love with Emily?
4. Good morning Darling (What's Your Name)
5. You Must Believe in Spring
6. Round About
7. Love Song
8. We Talked about Charlie B
1. A Small Love Song
2.Both of Us
3.A Friend Like You
4.I Wish It Wasn't Spring
5.In Your Eyes
6.The One Who Loves the Most
7.Old Thyme Movie Love Affair
8.Just Being Here (Daffodil vol.9)
This was recorded in the recording studio of Dick Wahlberg, who "is Swedish and lives with his family on the top of a hill in San Francisco." Dearie plays acoustic piano and sings. This is the same style with Et Tu Bruce, but I feel a little bit monotonous. Her piano doesn't sound groovy here, I don't know why. Though Dearie wrote "Part Two is in the works", it was not released after all.
This record is rare now, but I think this is a collector-only-record.
Blossom Dearie: Songs Of Chelsea (Released in 1987, Rating 4)
1. My Attorney Bernie
2. Everything I've Got
3. C'est le Printemps
4. When in Rome
5. Let the Flowers Grow 6. My New Celebrity is You
7. What Time is it Now?
8. You Fascinate Me So
9. There Ought to be a Moonlight Saving Time
10.Chelsea Aire (Daffodil vol.10)
Another charming album from the 80's. Dearie plays acoustic piano again. But it is much more groovy than Chez Wahlberg. Maybe it is partly because of the smooth playing of guitarist and bassist.
Dearie explains that "This is a selection of songs which is typical of my shows at The Ballroom, New York City - the Big Apple - currently my favorite boite de nuit (mais, surout maintennant, boite de soiree!)." There are reinterpretations of famous repertoires such as My New Celebrity Is You and There Ought To Be A Moonlight Saving Time. They are very good, of course. And the best track is Bossa Nova flavored What Time Is It Now?. A very gentle and tender album.
Blossom Dearie: Tweedledum & Tweedledee (Released in 1991, Rating 4)
1. I Don't Remember
2. Everybody Loves Jobim
3. I Thought I Heard a Hummingbird
4. The Quiet Time
5. My Love Went to London
6. I Did It All for You
7. Not You Again
9. Love Is On the Way
11.A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square (Daffodil vol.15)
Dearie should be the most enduring vocalist in the popular music history. It is a wonder how her cute, girlish voice has been well kept through years. Her albums of the 90's and 00's may not bring you anything new, but surely bring you a constant pleasure of listening. After all, there is no dull album in Blossom Dearie's discography.
So, this album released in 1991 is not an exception. The cover art is one of the worst of Dearie's albums. This has discouraged me to buy it for a long time. But it is a very enjoyable album with a lot of Brazilian tastes. The album starts with three straight Bossa Nova songs, and it ends with my favorite song, A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square.
By the way, the catalog number of this record is vol.15, while the former album, Songs of Chelea, is vol.10. Where did 11-14 go?
Blossom Dearie: Christmas Spice So Very Nice (Released in 1991, Rating 4)
1. Christmas 2. Christmas in the City 3. Our first Christmas 4. Liz and Raplph and Calvin 5. A Christmas Love Song 6. Once a Year Miracle 7. A Christmas Wish for You 8. Santa is Coming Tonight 9. Christmas Morning 10. It's Christmas 11. A Yellow Ribbon (and Love) P.S. The closing Christmas Message (Daffodil vol.16)
The cover art looks terrible. Very easy design with reusing the photo of Et Tu Bruce (1984). The worst design of Dearie's album. But, don't judge the inside from the outside. This is the superb Christmas album. There is no ordinary Christmas routine song. Songs sound fresh like a white Christmas morning. I strongly wish that this were in a more beautiful package.
Blossom Dearie: Me & Phil (Released in 1994, Rating 4)
1. I Won't Dance
2. Everything I've Got
3. Quiet Time
4. I'm Hip
5. I Don't Remember
6. My Attorney Bernie
7. Bye Bye Country boy
8. Someone's Been Sending Me Flower
10.Liz, Ralph and Calvin
11.I'm Shadowing You
13.Peel Me a Grape
15.If I Were a Bell
16.Sweet Georgie Fame
This was recorded live in Australia, and released in Australia. Not from Daffodil records.
I am not sure about the recording date. Guessing from her voice, it may be the recordings of the 80's. The photo looks like it is of the 70's. The song selection is a kind of "best of". This contains 16 songs, while her other live records contain 10-12 songs. The bass of Phil Scorgie is soft and groovy. And Dearie's voice is cute, of course. So, this is a very good buy though there is little surprise after having heard other live albums of Dearie.
Blossom Dearie: Blossom's Planet (Released in 2000, Rating 4)
1. Bye-Bye Country Boy
3. Lies Of Handsome Men
4. The Ladies Who Lunch
5. Love Dance
6. I'm Not Alone
7. La Belle Dame Sans Regrets
8. Go Away With Me
9. Make Some Magic
This is a beautiful album. The designs of her her albums since the 80's had not been very good, but this is the good design. When this album was release, Dearie was 74 years old. Ahhh. How enduring and stable the charm of her voice is! There is no sign of decline, but there is only elegant sound of Dearie as always. Some taste of Brazilian music is comfortable. So, this album ends with Wave of Jobim.
Blossom Dearie: It's Alright To Be Afraid (Released in 2003, Rating 3+)
1. It's Alright To Be Afraid
The Dearie's latest release is the single, dedicated to the victims and survivors of the 9-11 tragedy in New York City. It's a sad but soothing song with beautiful strings arrangement. She was singing in New York city just after the tragedy, and she is still singing in New York City, her beloved city. This is the limited issue of 1000 copies. Get one while it is available.
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