jueves, 8 de septiembre de 2011

Blossom Dearie

Blossom Dearie (April 28, 1924 – February 7, 2009) was an American jazz singer and pianist, often performing in the bebop genre and remembered for her girlish voice.
Blossom Dearie was born on April 28, 1924, in East Durham, New York to a father of Irish-Scottish descent and a mother of Scandinavian descent. Different sources state her given names variously as Blossom Margrete, Marguerite Blossom, or Margrethe Blossom. As a child she studied Western classical piano but switched to jazz in her teens. After high school Dearie moved to New York City to pursue a music career and began to sing in groups such as the Blue Flames (with the Woody Herman Orchestra) and the Blue Reys (with Alvino Rey's band) before starting her solo career.
She moved to Paris in 1952 and formed a vocal group, the Blue Stars of Paris, which included Michel Legrand's sister, Christiane Legrand, and Bob Dorough. In 1954 the group had a hit in France with a French-language version of "Lullaby of Birdland". The Blue Stars would later evolve into the Swingle Singers. While in Paris she met her future husband, the Belgian flutist and saxophonist Bobby Jaspar. On her first solo album, released two years later, she plays the piano but does not sing.

One of her most famous songs from that period is "The Riviera", which was written and composed by Cy Coleman and Joseph McCarthy Jr. in 1956.
After returning from France, Dearie made her first six American albums as a solo singer and pianist for Verve Records in the late 1950s and early 1960s, mostly in a small trio or quartet setting. Dave Garroway, host of The Today Show and an early fan of Dearie, featured her on several occasions, increasing her exposure with the popular audience. In 1962, she recorded a radio commercial for Hires Root Beer. As it proved very popular, the LP Blossom Dearie Sings Rootin' Songs was released as a premium item that could be ordered for one dollar and a proof of purchase.
In 1964, she recorded the album May I Come In? (Capitol/EMI Records). It was recorded, atypically for her, with an orchestra. During this same period, Dearie performed frequently in New York supper clubs and in 1966 made her first appearance at Ronnie Scott's club in London. She recorded four albums in the United Kingdom during the 1960s which were released on the Fontana label.
After a period of inactivity, Dearie recorded the album That's Just the Way I Want to Be (containing the cult song "Dusty Springfield", an ode to the British pop star co-written by Dearie with Norma Tanega), which was released in 1970. In 1974, Dearie established her own label, Daffodil Records, which allowed her to have full control of the recording and distribution of her albums. Dearie appeared on television throughout her career, most notably giving her voice to the children's educational series Schoolhouse Rock!. Some of her pieces in this series were written by her good friend Bob Dorough, the jazz singer and composer. Her voice can be heard on "Mother Necessity, Figure Eight" and "Unpack Your Adjectives".

Songwriter Johnny Mercer, with whom she collaborated for her 1975 song, I'm Shadowing You, gave one of his final compositions to Dearie for the title song of her 1976 Daffodil album, My New Celebrity is You.
Her voice and songs have been featured on the soundtracks of several films, including Kissing Jessica Stein, My Life Without Me, The Squid and the Whale, andThe Adventures of Felix. She also recorded songs with other singers, including Lyle Lovett. She continued to perform in clubs until 2006. One of the last remaining supper-club performers, she performed regular engagements in London and New York City over many years.
Dearie died on February 7, 2009, aged 84, at her apartment in Greenwich Village, New York City. She was survived by her older brother as well as a nephew and a niece.



Blossom Dearie (28 de abril de 1926 - 7 de febrero de 2009) fue una cantante de jazz y pianista estadounidense. Encuadrada en el bebop, Dearie se caracterizaba por una «distinguida voz aniñada».
Dearie nació en East Dirham, Nueva York, Estados Unidos. De niña estudió piano clásico, pero lo cambió por el jazz en la adolescencia. Al acabar los estudios secundarios, Dearie se mudó a Nueva York, para continuar su carrera musical. Aquí comenzó a cantar en grupos como los Blue Flames (con la Woody Herman Orchestra) y los Blue Reys (con Alvino Rey's band), antes de iniciar su carrera en solitario.
En 1952 se mudó a París, donde formó un grupo vocal, The Blue Stars. En 1954 el grupo consiguió un hit en Francia con la versión francesa de "Lullaby of Birland". The Blue Stars más tarde se convertirían en los Swingle Singers. Durante su estancia en París, conoció al que sería su marido, el flautista y saxofonista belga Bobby Jaspar. En su primer disco en solitario, publicado dos años más tarde, Dearie toca el piano, pero no canta.

Una de las canciones más conocidas de esta etapa es “The Riviera”, escrita por Cy Coleman y Joseph McCarty Jr. en 1956.
En esta etapa, después de regresar de Francia, Dearie grabó sus primeros seis discos en América como cantante solista y pianista para el sello Verve Records la mayoría con un pequeño trío o cuarteto. Dave Garroway, presentador del programa Today, y uno de los primeros seguidores de Dearie, la invitó en varias ocasiones a su programa, facilitando así su difusión al público general. En 1962, graba una canción para un anuncio de radio para la cerveza "Hires Root". Como todo el mundo debe saber, el LP Blossom Dearie Sings Rootin' Songs fue lanzado como un objeto codiciado que podía ser encargado por el precio de un dólar y una prueba de compra.
En 1964, Dearie grabó su disco más conocido para el sello Capitol Records May I Come In?, grabado, inusualmente en ella, con una orquesta. Durante este mismo periodo Dearie interpretó frecuentemente en clubs donde pulió su estilo característico. En 1966, hizo su primera aparición pública en el londinense club Ronnie Scott's, donde pronto se convirtió en un número muy aclamado por el público. Grabó cuatro discos en Inglaterra, pulicados por el sello Fontana en los años 60.
In 1974, Dearie fundó su propio sello, Daffodil Records, que le permitió controlar totalmente la grabación y distribución de sus discos. Blossom apareció por televisión durante toda su carrera, especialmente con canciones para series educativas para niños, como Schoolhouse Rock! Muchas de sus intervenciones en estas series fueron compuestas por su buen amigo Bob Dorough, compositor y cantante de jazz. Se puede oír su voz en “Mother Necessity”, “Figure Eight” y “Unpack Your Adjectives”
Su voz peculiar y sus canciones fueron incluidas en las bandas sonoras de muchas películas como Kissing Jessica Stein, Mi vida sin mí, Una historia de Brooklyn y The Adventures of Felix. También grabó con algunos músicos, entre ellos Bob Dorough y Lyle Lovett.

Dearie continuó tocando y cantando en clubs. Como una de las últimas cantantes de clubs, siguió cantando y tocando en algunos números regulares en Londres y Nueva York, hasta el 2006.

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