Blossom Dearie

Blossom Dearie has died, of natural causes, at 82.

If you don't know her wonderful hip, very, very white jazz style, you owe it to yourself to check it out. She'll have your fingers snapping and have you feeling like a really happy, very posh beatnik in no time. Just the antidote to my February blues.

She is amazing. She takes a simple little song like "Tea for Two" and slows it WAY down, making it sultry and cool. Or "Surrey with a Fringe on Top," from Oklahoma of all things, suddenly is full of a sexy urban wink: something utterly different from the great but totally straight version by Shirley Jones and Gordon Macrae. I love her "Rhode Island is Famous for You," one of the great place name songs.

Verve Records has a nice compilation of her essential hits. I was collecting those at some point in the 90s and somehow this one made my list. I've never regretted it. Terry Teachouts much smarter and more informed remembrance is here--with a video clip of "Surrey with a Fringe on Top" as a bonus!

I am so grateful to her for her lovely songs. May she rest in peace.