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Tends to Much of a Muchness, A Bit on the Dreary Side,
This review is from: Blossom Time At Ronnie Scott's (Audio CD)
"Blossom Time at Ronnie Scott's," was initially recorded, live, by the American singer Blossom Dearie, during her first visit, in 1966, to the famed London jazz club. It was released on the British Fontana label, for which she would record three more albums. Dearie, a jazz pianist/singer/songwriter, and a frequent player in the bebop style, is best known for her distinctive, intimate, soft "girlish" voice. She's considered one of the great supper club singers: she's appeared at Michael's Pub, among other New York venues, as well as Carnegie Hall. In 1985, she was the first winner of the annual Mabel Mercer Foundation Award, for outstanding supper club artist.
On the record at hand, she's backed by her customary accompanists, Jeff Clyne on bass, and Johnny Butts on drums. Of her "boys," as she calls them, Dearie says, "Two wonderful musicians, two great friends. Johnny Butts gave me exactly the support I needed. A most sympathetic and swinging drummer. Jeff Clyne is the ideal bass player for me. His feel and intonation are excellent. I could not have asked for more from either of them. They are just perfect."
The program is top-heavy with standards, but they deliver a swinging version of that Brill Building triumph, "On Broadway;" and a fresh take on Rodgers and Hart's" Everything I've Got Belongs to You." She continues to favor Dave Frishberg material, see "I'm Hip," and does nicely with Noel Coward's "Mad about the Boy." Mind you, the album does sound a bit "much of a muchness;" her whisper of a voice hardly changes. And I myself had the privilege of seeing Dearie in person, at Ronnie Scott's, in the late 1960's, during my high flying days. I sat at a table of jazz aficionados, way more knowledgeable than I will ever be, and the word at that table was, "Blossom Dreary." Consider yourself warned.