Born in a small village near Albany in up state New York in 1924, Blossom Dearie was a one-off. She studied classical piano as a child, before switching to jazz as a teenager. She joined Woody Herman’s vocal group, The Blue Flames having moved to New York shortly after the end of World War II.
Chic, sleek and squeeky-clean, a voice in a million – Critic, Leonard Feather
By 1952 Blossom was living in Paris appearing in nightclubs with singer, Annie Ross, it was also in this year that she had her first, uncredited, hit with King Pleasure’s ‘Moody’s Mood For Love’ on which she sings.
It was in Paris in 1956 that Norman Granz heard Blossom singing at a club and he signed her to Verve to record her debut in September that same year. Accompanying herself on piano it also features Herb Ellis on guitar, Ray Brown on bass and Jo Jones on drums and was typical of what Blossom was doing in cabaret, reworking standards in her unique, girlish voice. Deceptively simple and straightforward Blossom understood these songs from the inside out giving them an intimacy that’s matched by few singers. Over the next four years she made another five albums and all are worth seeking out.
Working the New York supper club circuit in the early 1960s she was a popular draw and her popularity once more spread across the Atlantic in the later sixties when she began appearing at Ronnie Scott’s club in London and recorded more albums in the UK.
She became a fixture in New York clubs right up until 2006 when she became ill which prevented her from performing. She passed away in 2009.