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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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