I’ve managed to have some major vinyl scores in the last month or so. Not counting the amazing haul that Heidi bought me for Christmas, I’ve managed to finally add R.E.M.’s Automatic For The People and Annie Lennox’s Diva to my ever expanding vinyl collection. Today I received another, and this might be my favorite rare find yet.
For those that don’t know, this is a 1981 reissue of jazz great Blossom Dearie’s debut album for Verve, which was originally released in 1956. The original pressing is rare as shit and when you do find it, it’s beyond pricey. So when I saw this reissue for $35, I didn’t even think twice.
Blossom is one of those artists that you would never expect me to like. I can remember the first time I heard a Blossom Dearie song – it was in the few months of my job and the hospital where I work had jazz music as the telephone hold music. One day, while on hold, I heard a clever little song from a baby-voiced singer about states in the USA, mostly talking about how Rhode Island was famous for you.
I wrote the lyrics down on my hand so I could look them up later – how 2004 of me! I eventually found my way to Blossom Dearie and bought the song on iTunes, probably with one of the winning Pepsi caps that people were giving me by the boatload because they didn’t know how to download music. Again, how 2004.
I checked her debut album out from the library and was hooked immediately. I’m not a big jazz fan by any stretch, but this really appealed to me for some reason. I think it’s the voice, a voice that one critic described as “scarcely able to reach the second story of a doll house.” I eventually bought the CD of Blossom Dearie: The Diva Series and I spent most of the summer listening to her music – music that had been recorded 50 years prior.
Blossom died in 2009 at the age of 84. Amazingly, up until 2006, she was performing regularly at Danny’s Skylight Room in New York City, a venue that is now closed. Who wouldn’t want to go to a place called Danny’s Skylight Room? She never lost her girlish voice. I’m not sure when this was recorded, but it’s amazing.