Personnel: Blossom Dearie (piano, vocals), Mundell Lowe (guitar), Ray Brown (bass), Ed Thigpen (drums).
Recorded in New York on September 12-13, 1958. Includes liner notes by Blossom Dearie.
Personnel: Blossom Dearie (vocals, piano); Mundell Lowe (guitar); Ed Thigpen (drums).
Recording information: New York, NY (09/12/1958-09/13/1958).
A near-perfect set of standards (and a novelty or two), 1958's ONCE UPON A SUMMERTIME just might be the quintessential Blossom Dearie album. By the time of her third LP for Verve, Dearie's whimsical style had fully blossomed, so to speak. Except that Dearie was never just about sounding adorable. She is a jazz musician through and through, as well as an interpretive singer of the first rank. And the interpretations are especially intriguing here. "Tea For Two," often performed as casually as it was written, is given a careful, slow reading, and is revealed to be a lovely little paean to domesticity. Similarly, "Surrey with the Fringe on Top" is usually performed uptempo but is taken at a moderate clip so that the singer can savor each and every rhyme. Not all are slow ones, of course--"Down With Love" is done at breakneck speed, which only increases its sardonic hilarity. The highlight, though, is the reverie-like "Manhattan," in which Dearie plumbs the deeper meanings of Rodgers & Hart's famous song.