A friend introduced me to Blossom Dearie through this album. The serene blonde swathed in mink on the cover was one thing, but when I let her soft, sweet voice slip out of the album (yes, it was that long ago), my heart went "ping!" and that was the end of if for me.
I later chased her down in performance at The Ballroom in New York's Greenwich Village. She sang and glowed -- no, twinkled -- accompanying herself while reigning entirely over the room with respectable musicality. We talked a bit afterward, my being a doofus, and she signed something on paper for me which I hurried home and framed. There's just no other such thing as Blossom Dearie, and this is the album that proves it.
Enjoy the small, tight jazz orchestra. It is impeccably attuned to her style, to her individualized voice, to her talent. The arrangements are sweet and rhythmic and happy. The lyrics of many of the tunes she selected to perform are witty and provocative and stylish, very ahead of the ethos of 1964, the year it was recorded in Capitol Records' Studio A in Los Angeles. (That's the skyscraper designed to look like a stack of vinyl record platters. Should they rebuild for the CD age?)
Note the smoking sax section and how it punctuates many of Miss Blossom's melodies, and how she plays along on her piano almost undiscernably most of the time, emerging now and then like a sudden beam of light. Most distinctively, she creates through her scant 28 minutes of work here a blessed time capsule of jazz which -- for me -- is bewitching.
God bless you, Miss Blossom Dearie (and it is her real Scottish name)! And, wow!, what a talent! May I come in?