Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Blossom Dearie - My Gentleman Friend

The most expressive of jazz vocalists, Blossom Dearie's first three records for Verve -- all masterpieces -- displayed an artist with an uncommon ability to transfer a well-worn standard into a new song, usually informed by her light touch with piano and voice as well as her delightful coquette persona. My Gentleman Friend, her final full-length for the label, suffers only in comparison to her previous work; with fewer all-time standards available from her performing repertoire, Dearie was forced to resort to a few French titles and many middle-rank or then-current standards. It doesn't come as a surprise, then, that the song with the most compositional weight -- George and Ira Gershwin's "Someone to Watch Over Me" -- is the highlight. Dearie gracefully tiptoes through the classic, her reading rosy and meditative. Another Gershwin tune, "Little Jazz Bird," leads off the record with Dearie affecting her usual blend of warmth and insouciance. Aside from those two, the rest of the material is Blossom by numbers: simply average, forgettable songs given solid readings. The backing very nearly makes up for the lack of great compositions -- Dearie leads a quartet comprising her piano, Kenny Burrell on guitar, Ray Brown on bass, and Ed Thigpen on drums. - by John Bush, AMG

Artist: Blossom Dearie
Album: My Gentleman Friend
Year: 1959
Label: Verve (2006, 96 kHz, 24-bit digital transfer)
Total time: 33:25

Tracks:
1.  Little Jazz Bird (George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin) 3:43
2.  Gentleman Friend (Arnold B. Horwitt/Richard Lewine) 3:49
3.  It's Too Good to Talk About Now (Cy Coleman/Carolyn Leigh) 3:09
4.  Chez Moi (Jean Féline/Paul Misraki/Bruce Sievier) 3:09
5.  You Fascinate Me So (Cy Coleman/Carolyn Leigh) 3:33
6.  You've Got Something I Want (Bob Haymes)  2:37
7.  Boum (Charles Trenet/E. Ray Goetz) 2:10
8.  L'Etang (Paul Misraki) 2:27
9.  Hello Love (Michael Barr/Dion McGregor) 2:51
10.  Someone To Watch Over Me (George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin) 5:57

Personnel:
Blossom Dearie (Piano and Vocals)
Kenny Burrell (Guitar)
Ray Brown (Double Bass)
Ed Thigpen (Drums)
Bobby Jaspar (Flute) - 4,7,8
Omit Dearie (Piano) - 6

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for this classic. I have her other Verve releases and was excited to find this one on your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Many thanks for this classic! Great rhythm section!

    ReplyDelete

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