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Afterglow Jazz and American Popular Song

A Tribute to Blossom Dearie: “Jazz Pixie” Of American Popular Song

Urbane, witty, and romantic with a bite, pianist and singer Blossom Dearie, as the New York Times said of her after she passed away, was a genre unto herself.

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Blossom Dearie Once Upon a Summertime Album Cover

Photo: Album Cover

Blossom Dearie's album, Once Upon a Summertime. She passed away this past February at the age of 84.

Singer and pianist Blossom Dearie, the so-called “jazz pixie” of American popular song, passed away in her Greenwich Village apartment in New York City in February 2009 at the age of 84.

She had a small, little-girlish voice—critic Whitney Balliett once wrote that it would scarcely reach the second story of a dollhouse–but she used it to her advantage, and had a very sophisticated approach to her vocals and her choice of material. Urbane, witty and wry, and romantic with a bite, Blossom Dearie, as the New York Times said of her after she passed away, was a genre unto herself.

“A Tribute to Blossom Dearie” features music from Dearie’s classic late-1950s Verve albums, as well as songs that she recorded later in her career for her own Daffodil label and a number from the TV show Schoolhouse Rock.

Read David Amram’s reflections on Blossom Dearie, posted last week at Jazzwax.

Listen to a 1992 NPR interview with the singer.

Watch Blossom Dearie play and sing “Surrey With the Fringe On Top”:

Music Heard On This Episode

Mad About the Boy
Blossom Dearie — Blossom Time: Live at Ronnie Scott's (Verve, 2006)
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Mad About the Boy
Blossom Dearie — Blossom Time: Live at Ronnie Scott's (Verve, 2006)
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Embrasse-moi bien
Les Blue Stars — The Pianist/Les Blue Stars (EmArcy , 2003)
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It Might as Well Be Spring
Blossom Dearie — Blossom Dearie (Polygram, 1989)
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The Continental
Blossom Dearie — The Pianist/Les Blue Stars (Emarcy, 2003)
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Tea for Two
Blossom Dearie — Once Upon a Summertime (Polygram, 1992)
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It Amazes Me
Blossom Dearie — Once Upon a Summertime (Polygram, 1992)
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Manhattan
Blossom Dearie — Once Upon a Summertime (Polygram, 1992)
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Don't Wait Too Long
Blossom Dearie — May I Come In? (Blue Note, 1998)

Notes: Music midpoint bed.

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You Fascinate Me So
Blossom Dearie — My Gentleman Friend (Verve, 2003)
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You've Got Something I Want
Blossom Dearie — My Gentleman Friend (Verve, 2003)
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I'm Hip
Blossom Dearie — I'm Hip (Daffodil, 1998)
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There Ought to Be Moonlight Saving Time
Blossom Dearie — I'm Hip (Daffodil, 1998)
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I'm Shadowing You
Blossom Dearie — I'm Hip (Daffodil, 1998)
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Something Happens to Me
Blossom Dearie — May I Come In? (Blue Note, 1998)
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Figure 8
Blossom Dearie — Best of Schoolhouse Rock (Kid Rhino, 1998)
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Some Other Time
Blossom Dearie — Sings Comden and Green (Verve, 2001)
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David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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