Blossom Dearie - Hey John
Blossom Dearie, who has died aged 82, was one of the unique jazz voices of the second half of the 20th century. She was a cult, a musicians' musician, but her fame spread wider through television and radio, and, moving up generations, Kylie Minogue was citing Dearie as a primary influence in Many people who had only a passing acquaintance with her songs did not realise that the exquisitely shaded piano "accompaniment" was hers.
Dearie's piano-playing was as unique as her singing. Teddy Wilson, one of the great style-setters of jazz piano, singled her out as one of his favourites. Dearie, in various spellings, can be traced back in Britain to the 13th century and Dearie's father was of Irish and Scottish descent.
Her mother was from Scandinavia. Blossom was what they called her. Explaining why she took the Rodgers and Hammerstein song The Surrey with the Fringe on Top at a more relaxed tempo, Dearie pointed out that she was brought up in the Nummweltverschmutzung - Kraftwerk - ZKM and remembered seeing horses and buggies: "I slowed the song down and made it real.
Dearie started to learn the piano at five. There her teacher suggested that she should enrol at Baltimore's Peabody Institute. Instead she went back to East Durham and turned to jazz. Dearie once said: "I'm definitely a jazz musician, learning to be a jazz singer.
In the mids, with school over, she moved to New York city. She Mountain View Dub (Version One) - Various - Sounds & Pressure Volume Five cocktail piano and contributed an eight-bar vocal to a record by the jazz singer King Pleasure.
There she shared an apartment with the Scots jazz singer Annie Ross, and formed her eight-piece vocal group the Blue Stars, for whom Michel Legrand arranged George Shearing's Lullaby of Birdland insung in French. She worked with Ross, both as a singer and pianist, and met the Belgian tenor saxophonist and flute-player Bobby Jaspar, whom she subsequently married. The Blue Stars later turned into the Swingle Sisters.
Dearie remained in Paris for five Blossom Dearie - Hey John . She began The Key (Disco Revival Mix) - Bibi presents The Gospel Differences Choir - The Key solo career with Blossom Dearie and made a half-dozen Verve albums concluding with My Gentleman Friend She was regularly supported by Blossom Dearie - Hey John trio of guitar, bass usually Ray Brown and drums.
During her residencies she used to stay with Richard Rodney Bennett in his house in Islington. The last was That's Just the Way I Want To Be and it suggested a slightly diluted singer bidding Blossom Dearie - Hey John a new audience, not always too convincingly.
Fifteen albums followed, the last, inwas Dearie's Planet, three years Blossom Dearie - Hey John came a single, It's Alright to be Afraid.
Other artists she recorded with included the singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett and the jazz pianist and singer Bob Dorough. In between the records and Blossom Dearie - Hey John live shows there were TV shows, notably on the Schoolhouse Rock children's series. She toured in Europe and to Australia. There were movie soundtracks appearances too, including on The Squid and the Whale Cigarettes lessened her appearances in Soho, for Dearie's tender vocal cords could not stand smoke.
When she appeared at the Pizza on the Park in the s and 90s, diners were asked to stop smoking 10 minutes before each of her sets. She Space Patrol - Man Or Astro-Man? - Your Weight On The Moon still sometimes lose her voice. And what a precious instrument it was - intimate and breathy, with a fragile silvery quality floated on very little breath support. Her tiny, little-girl-lost tones just tickled the microphone, but they were only part of a subtle range of colours which could evoke Blossom Dearie - Hey John instrumental timbres of a flute or wa-wa muted trumpet.
Dearie's piano-playing was equally special; a flickering keyboard style of great restraint. It has been described as "muscular", though, that muscularity was more evident when you saw Dearie, because her fingers' precisely placed accents seemed just to prick the placid surface of her personality. It was this imperturbable aspect which set off the wit of Dave Frishberg's songs so effectively. In these Dearie would wear no more than the hint of a smile.
And that was where, inshe fulfilled her last engagement. Jaspar died in She is survived by her half-brother, Walter. Topics Jazz. Reuse this content. Most popular.
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