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Obit: Blossom Dearie (7 Feb 2009, age 82)

bobad 09 Feb 09 - 12:44 PM
pdq 09 Feb 09 - 12:52 PM
Newport Boy 09 Feb 09 - 12:52 PM
MartinRyan 09 Feb 09 - 12:57 PM
wysiwyg 09 Feb 09 - 01:31 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 09 Feb 09 - 01:53 PM
Dave Roberts 09 Feb 09 - 01:58 PM
Art Thieme 09 Feb 09 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,BanjoRay 09 Feb 09 - 03:44 PM
cptsnapper 09 Feb 09 - 03:55 PM
Hrothgar 09 Feb 09 - 05:06 PM
JennieG 09 Feb 09 - 06:02 PM
Sandra in Sydney 09 Feb 09 - 06:57 PM
Leadfingers 09 Feb 09 - 07:17 PM
GUEST 09 Feb 09 - 08:31 PM
ard mhacha 10 Feb 09 - 04:42 AM
rich-joy 10 Feb 09 - 05:22 AM
John MacKenzie 10 Feb 09 - 06:25 AM
Flash Company 10 Feb 09 - 07:19 AM
GUEST,HiLo 12 Feb 09 - 09:24 AM
John MacKenzie 12 Feb 09 - 10:19 AM
lefthanded guitar 12 Feb 09 - 11:26 AM
goatfell 12 Feb 09 - 11:29 AM
Jane of 'ull 12 Feb 09 - 06:27 PM
Bob Bolton 12 Feb 09 - 09:40 PM
fat B****rd 13 Feb 09 - 03:08 PM
Sandra in Sydney 13 Feb 09 - 07:39 PM
JennieG 13 Feb 09 - 07:46 PM
GUEST 13 Feb 09 - 10:34 PM
JJ 14 Feb 09 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,Michael Rosen 17 Feb 09 - 04:54 PM
Joe Offer 12 Oct 10 - 02:16 AM
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Subject: Obit: Blossom Dearie
From: bobad
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 12:44 PM

Blossom Dearie, cabaret singer, dies at 82

By Stephen Holden, New York Times
Posted: 02/08/2009 05:30:46 PM PST

NEW YORK — Blossom Dearie, the jazz pixie with a little-girl voice and pageboy haircut who was a fixture in New York and London nightclubs for decades, died Saturday at her apartment in Greenwich Village. She was 82.

She died in her sleep of natural causes, said her manager and representative, Donald Schaffer. Her last public appearances, in 2006, were at her regular Midtown Manhattan stamping ground, the now defunct Danny's Skylight Room.

A singer, pianist and songwriter with an independent spirit who zealously guarded her privacy, Ms. Dearie pursued a singular career that blurred the line between jazz and cabaret. An interpretive minimalist with caviar taste in songs and musicians, she was a genre unto herself.

Rarely raising her sly, kittenish voice, Ms. Dearie confided song lyrics in a playful style below whose surface layers of insinuation lurked. Her cheery style influenced many younger jazz and cabaret singers, most notably Stacey Kent and the singer and pianist Daryl Sherman.

But just under her fey camouflage lay a needling wit. If you listened closely, you could hear the scathing contempt she brought to one of her signature songs, "I'm Hip," the Dave Frishberg-Bob Dorough demolition of a name-dropping bohemian poseur. Ms. Dearie was for years closely associated with Frishberg and Dorough. It was Frishberg who wrote another of her perennials, "Peel Me a Grape."

Ms. Dearie didn't suffer fools gladly and was
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unafraid to voice her disdain for music she didn't like; the songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber were a particular pet peeve.

The other side of her sensibility was a wistful romanticism most discernible in her interpretations of Brazilian bossa nova songs, material ideally suited to her delicate approach.

Her final album, "Blossom's Planet" (Daffodil), released in 2000, includes what may be the definitive interpretation of Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Wave." Her dreamy attenuated rendition finds her voice floating away as though to sea, or to heaven, on lapping waves of tastefully synthesized strings.

Born Marguerite Blossom Dearie in East Durham, N.Y., on April 29, 1926, she was a classically trained pianist who switched to jazz after joining a high school band. Moving to New York City in the mid-1940s, she sang with the Blue Flames, a vocal group attached to the Woody Herman band, and with Alvino Rey's band before embarking on a solo career.

Traveling to Paris in 1952, she met the Belgian flutist and saxophonist Bobby Jaspar, to whom she was briefly married.

She also met Norman Granz, the owner of Verve Records, who signed her to a six-album contract. All six albums — "Blossom Dearie" (1956), "Give Him the Ooh-La-La" (1957), "Once Upon a Summertime" (1958), "Sings Comden and Green" (1959), "My Gentleman Friend" (1959) and "Soubrette Sings Broadway Hit Songs" (1960) — are today regarded as cult classics.

Blossom Dearie on YouTube


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie
From: pdq
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 12:52 PM

Like Mose Allison, people either like liked her work or they didn't.

No lack of tallent, though.

RIP


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie
From: Newport Boy
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 12:52 PM

Obituary in the Guardian.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie
From: MartinRyan
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 12:57 PM

I hadn't thought of Blosson Dearie for many years until I recently picked up a DVD of Jazz on a Summer's Day - and there she was, of course.

Regards
p.s. Mose Allison? Now that'll send me rooting through the CD collection again...


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 01:31 PM

Oh YEAH, I LOVED her......

~S~


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 01:53 PM

I just heard her on Lyric FM radio on Saturday morning - no mention was made of her death (which might not have happened yet - Ireland is 5 hours later than New York) so it was probably an uncanny co-incidence. Put me in mind of her, though, and I'm sorry to hear she is gone. But her voice still travels around the world.

Damn... posting to far too many R.I.P. threads lately...


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 01:58 PM

She was great. I remember her being featured a lot in the sixties on the BBC Light Programme, mainly in a programme called 'Light Night Extra' (this was just before 'The Light' became Radio 2). I'll never forget her tribute to Georgie Fame and her brilliant version of 'It Might As Well Be Spring'.
And, oddly enough, I remember her telling a joke during a live late-night session, all those years ago in 1967: 'I was coming through customs and the man asked if I had any pornographic pictures. I told him I didn't even have a pornograph.'
Strange what the mind remembers, isn't it? Well, my mind, anyway.
R.I.P Blossom Dearie


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie
From: Art Thieme
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 02:08 PM

Vicki Moss turned me on to Blossom.

Alas, Vicki always did that to me!

Art


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie
From: GUEST,BanjoRay
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 03:44 PM

Saw her in concert in Swansea with Ben Webster, back in the 60s.
Total knockout - a night of perfect jazz.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie
From: cptsnapper
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 03:55 PM

Russell Davies played her version of " On Broadway " on his show last Sunday.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie
From: Hrothgar
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 05:06 PM

She will always live for me in "The Shape of Things".


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie
From: JennieG
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 06:02 PM

"The Ballad of the Shape of Things" has been one of my party pieces for about 15 years...twice in the last couple of days a local radio station has played local singer Janet Seidel's version of "Pro Musica Antiqua". Janet has apparently recorded a Blossom Dearie tribute album - very timely.

In 1978 Blossom Dearie visited Oz, Himself and I had front row seats to her concert at the Sydney Town Hall. Bob Bolton was at the same concert, also sitting in the front row, we found out many years later!

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie (7 Feb 2009, age 82)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 06:57 PM

Jennie - I might have been there too, I certainly attended a concert she gave, tho I think I thought Stephane Grapelli was there, too, maybe?

I just searched for her obit as I wanted to see how often she'd been here, but her death hasn't reached the Oz papers, yet.

I looked thru my small cassette collection which is awaiting copying to CD, but there aren't any jazz tapes left! But as I only kept the tapes I couldn't get on CD, that's hardly surprising. I might just wander thru my local commercial CD shop today & remedy that deficiency.

detailed discography And I've just found one of my tapes - Blossom Dearie : My New Celebrity Is You.

I'm Hip, Ballad of the Shape Of Things, Peel Me a Grape, I'm shadowing you, Pro Musica Antiqua ...

sandra


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie (7 Feb 2009, age 82)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 07:17 PM

Another Good'Un off to the Great Jam Session !


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie (7 Feb 2009, age 82)
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 08:31 PM

I only 'found' Blossom Dearie a few years ago and she opened up a whole new world of jazz/cabaret music for me. That fine obituary at the top of this thread says it all much better than I could.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie (7 Feb 2009, age 82)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 04:42 AM

During the 1960s she appeared on various BBC programmes, I remember her through her unusual name and barely audible voice.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie (7 Feb 2009, age 82)
From: rich-joy
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 05:22 AM

aaahhhhh ... wonderful woman .... I think "The Shape of Things" was my introduction too ... then later, her song "Sweet Georgie Fame", as I adored Georgie and the Blues Flames (speaking of Mose Allison!!!)

.... I certainly share her opinion of Andrew Lloyd Webber's music!!!


Vale, Blossom.

Rich-Joy,
Down Under


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie (7 Feb 2009, age 82)
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 06:25 AM

I shall sing the 'Shape of Things' tomorrow night, in tribute to this wondeful performer.

JM


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie (7 Feb 2009, age 82)
From: Flash Company
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 07:19 AM

A wisp of a voice that will be much missed, as someone said of Irving Berlin 'To hear her you had to hug her!'
Dammit, why is everybody dying?

FC


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie (7 Feb 2009, age 82)
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 09:24 AM

That is very sad news. I loved her recordings. They would certainly make my desert Island discs list. She was a real gem.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie (7 Feb 2009, age 82)
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 10:19 AM

"The New Yorker critic Whitney Balliett once said that Blossom Dearie's tiny wisp of a voice "would scarcely reach the second storey of a doll's house"."

From the Daily Telegraph obituary last Monday.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie (7 Feb 2009, age 82)
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 11:26 AM

Years ago when I worked in civil service, I audited her tax form. I actually didn't know who she was. A friend of mine, working at the same office, ran over with excitement and waving papers in the air to show me the paperwork. Of course, to my friend's chagrin, I then had to ask who she was- but never forgot the name since (and who could forget a stellar name like Blossom Dearie?) Sad to say I've never taken the opportunity to see her perform live, tho she'd been singing in Manhattan for years. Rest in peace, dear Dearie.

btw I don't remember the details- but her tax form was fine.;-)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie (7 Feb 2009, age 82)
From: goatfell
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 11:29 AM

oh good another left handed guitar player and so sad that another one has gone


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie (7 Feb 2009, age 82)
From: Jane of 'ull
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 06:27 PM

Oh, dear Blossom! Didn't know about her death til I read it on here. I am sad. I'm not really a jazz fan but I like anyone a bit quirky - anyone who can rhyme 'Bernie' with 'attorney' gets my vote! I'm off to listen to her now! God bless xx


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie (7 Feb 2009, age 82)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 09:40 PM

G'day JennieG and Sandra,

(From: JennieG - PM
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 06:02 PM
and
From: Sandra in Sydney - PM
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 06:57 PM )


I seem to remember getting along to two Blossom Dearie concerts ... both in the acoustic horror of Sydney Town Hall. Seats up front for one and right round in the gallery at the other ... looking over Blossom's left shoulder as she suggested to the Town Hall's excuse for a sound tech that, if he did not stop deafening her with unasked for foldback (after all ... that's what the lid of a concert grand does for a player / singer ... perfectly ... without a watt of electricity!) she was going to unplug every vestige of electronic amplification and proceed without!

I don't remember if that was the night that Patricia and I went along to a Blossom Dearie Concert ... and our good friend, fiddler Ralph Pride - well known to both Jennie and Sandra - went along to a Stephane Grapelli concert!

Regard(les)s,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie (7 Feb 2009, age 82)
From: fat B****rd
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 03:08 PM

She did a gerat version of "Close Your Eyes" with Dudley Moore on , I think, 'Not Only But Also'. I also liked "My Attorney, Bernie" RIP Miss Dearie.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie (7 Feb 2009, age 82)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 07:39 PM

Bob

hmmmm, maybe I attended 2 separate concerts

sandra


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie (7 Feb 2009, age 82)
From: JennieG
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 07:46 PM

Yes, that's the one we were at....I think? I was probably suffering from baby brain at the time so perhaps my memories are hazy.

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie (7 Feb 2009, age 82)
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 10:34 PM

Poor Blossom, she was a sophisticated entertainer and a clever lady with some great lyrics, and it's no surprise to hear her tax returns were in such good order - no doubt she had 'her attorney Bernie' look them over before submitting them    :-)
    Please note that anonymous posting is no longer allowed at Mudcat. Use a consistent name [in the 'from' box] when you post, or your messages risk being deleted.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie (7 Feb 2009, age 82)
From: JJ
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 09:34 AM

It should be pointed out that "My Attorney Bernie," like a number of Ms. Dearie's signature numbers, was written by Dave Frishberg.

Also, the Times ran this correction to her obit on 12 Feb:
An obituary on Monday about the singer Blossom Dearie, using information from a relative and reference works, misstated the date she was born — and thus her age — and her full name. She was born on April 28, 1924, not on April 29, 1926, and was 84, not 82. (The headline also misstated her age.) Her full name was Blossom Margrete Dearie, not Marguerite Blossom Dearie.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie (7 Feb 2009, age 82)
From: GUEST,Michael Rosen
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 04:54 PM

Blossom Dearie was one of those rare performers who was better in person, than on recordings, which is usually not the case with many performers these days. Every note she played and sang were perfect. For many, it was getting past that tiny, little girl's voice, but once you did, she could move a listener, like no one else, with only the most subtle changes, or the thinnest vibrato as she ended a phrase. Her diction was flawless, and she carefully picked many songs in which the words were important and meaningful. Tasteful, elegant, with the most economical use of both her voice and piano, made her so special.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Blossom Dearie (7 Feb 2009, age 82)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 02:16 AM

I was looking for Rhode Island Is Famous for You to honor my Rhode Island wife and to help me savor the joys of my trip to lighthouses in Rhode Island (et al.) the last two weeks, but I came across a terrific Blossom Dearie recording of Someone to Watch Over Me. There's a more recent recording and video of I'm Hip, but I like the other two songs better.
Good stuff.

-Joe-


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