Blossom Dearie is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated jazz vocalists of all time. Dearie's phrasing and piano playing within the small group arrangements on this album of standards are very, very reminiscent of Mose Allison (who just so happens to be another of my all-time favorites). On this track in particular, she delivers a very charming performance, combining the innocent ingenue with the blase urbanite.
from Once Upon a Summertime, available on CD (Verve)
25 Apr 01 ·delicado: I love Blossom's stuff as well. Haven't yet heard a bad record by her. She did an unusual record in 1970 called 'that's just the way I want to be' on Fontana. It's available (coupled with 'give him the ooh la la) on a japanese CD, 'whisper for you'. 18 Jun 01 ·tempted: Oh, and "London in the Rain". What a fabulous singer! 07 Jul 01 ·egbdf: I have been hearing about a Japan CD which would be a reissue of Blossom Dearie's 1976 American double LP entitled 'My New Celebrity Is You'. No one however can locate it. If you can help please E me. Best Regards, egbdf. 29 Jan 03 ·klatu: Definitely a favorite! I also love to 70 album "that's just the way i want to be" and think the version of "both sides now" blows away the Judy Collins. Also a huge fan of the schoolhouse rocks stuff "unpack your adjectives" and especially "figure eight". 23 Apr 03 ·singjohn: A Doodlin' Song (not to be confused with "Doodlin'") apparently had an effect in it's time. Peggy Lee recorded it. It was even featured in an episode of the Dick Van Dyke Show where Mary Tyler Moore and Dick did a little dance number to it in their living room for their party guests! This song is perfect for the Blossom Touch! Cute simple lyrics and melody make the tune perfect for Blossom's child-like voice and bouncy delivery. She was the voice of several of the old Schoolhouse Rock shorts that used to play in Saturday mornings in the '70's. She is also an accomplished pianist and played on many of her own recordings. Another fave Blossom tune: "Rhode Island Is Famous For You" 24 Jun 03 ·tinks: jesus, any version of "both sides now" that isn't by judy collins blows away the judy collins version. give me dick hyman any day! 05 Jan 04 ·norfy: check out-'both sides now'by the veteran golfer tony jacklyn-from his excrutiating late 60's album-swings into...'-a superb psych-crooning version up [or down there]with william shatner and tony bennett's 'eleanor rigby' and richard harris!!
judy collins entire existence is a crime.
31 Mar 04 ·mpanzera: Thank you, Tinks! I *love* Blossom Dearie, but hadn't heard that track yet. I recently bought the eponymous CD (with a great picture of her in glasses at the microphone...), and must have played "Tout Doucement" about a thousand times. 09 Dec 05 ·splurben: can anyone identify the male voice singing behind blossom on this track? 07 Nov 06 ·andy: I believe the male voice is Cy Coleman, the song's composer. I have only another website comment's word for that, but it does sound like him.
One of the few succesful attempts at using a gospel choir on a jazz recording (along with Max Roach's "It's Time" LP from the previous year...which, coincidentally, featured the same chorus), Byrd's "A New Perspective" album was the first time it was really attempted with a small group setting (Roach's was backed by an orchestra). This, the opening track, begins with a vocalese scat by the choir that calls to mind old slave work songs. From there, the incredible band (featuring a very young Herbie Hancock and Kenny Burrell, among others) strikes up, and begins to follow a basic riff with the chorus that takes you through the remaining nine-plus minutes with various tempo changes throughout. An equally impressive edited version appeared as a b-side to the single of "Cristo Redentor", which got to be a minor hit on the pop charts.
from A New Perspective, available on CD (Blue Note)
I didn't know it then, but when I purchased the album 'In the Aeroplane Over the Sea' my world changed. When I put the album into my CD player, I did it with a naivete of someone who thought they'd 'heard it all.' I did it clumsily, with haste, handled like a Beatles or Beach Boys album, the way I had done for years. When I listened to the album I did it with reckless abandon while driving 38 miles per hour on my lunch break, and later in the drive-through at McDonald’s. These mistakes were inherited, and I refuse blame. They were passed through the genetic make-up of our peers and born out of the music we've been given; I didn't expect this! Well, our music has changed, and it did so without our knowing and our approval. This album proved and disproved an entire treatise of critical analysis on a generation of music that I thought I had known, and it did so with a fucking velvet sledgehammer.
The lyrics: "And one day we will die and our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea, but for now we are young let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see." More lyrics: "What a beautiful face I have found in this place that is circling all around the sun, what a beautiful dream that would flash in the screen in a blink of an eye and be gone from me." The melody: A timeless, haunting thing that was metaphysically resurrected from a wiser place. The voice: Wrenched out of the jaws of a holocaust from 50 years ago, we hear a possessed Jeff Mangum invest his soul. The sound: An apocalypse that can reinvent the turntable by it’s simplistic form; with a saw, guitar, drum, bass, horns, and lord knows what else all handled with deceptive elegance of a garage mechanic constructing a supermodel. And, lastly, the spirit: A tragedy and rape of virginity known only to the persecuted and executed; the ghost of Anne Frank materializes long enough to show us her world, and in her hands we are strangely at peace.
This song is a gift very few will experience. It is endless in its reach and should be accepted like a sibling into your collection. It will one day prove itself beyond category, but for now it is a masterful novel from the hands of a mysterious songwriter who should know how sincerely I cherish his songs.
from In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
27 Jun 01 ·karlmort: this album is going to make a huge impact on you if you dare to listen. 21 Jul 03 ·evolutum: All I have to say is that I agree with the above. My wife and I had this song played at our wedding reception. With tears in our eyes we danced. I would like to have it played at my funeral. 07 Jan 04 ·umbrellasfollowrain: Whenever I hear that someone loves this album as much as I do this strange things happens where I want to draw you all into a bearhug where we cry our fears away all through the long night. 04 Oct 05 ·el.oh man.: this song can make you feel so many emotions at once. it truly is a wrok of art. there is almost no way that you wouldnt like it. everytime i hear it, i fall in love with the amazing writing talents of these guys. 13 Nov 05 ·pullmyhair: This is one of my most life-changing albums. It does something to me, almost spiritually. If people have an open mind, they need to hear this.
The best political song ever written, "We're Still Free" concerns the famous tragedy of a Korean passenger jet shot down by fighter planes when it strayed into Soviet airspace. Yet in recounting this act of barbarism on the part of the Soviets, it also implicates the righteousness of the American side of the Cold War ("We're still free here in America"). The song sets up a chilling contrast in the singing of the two performers, with Frith crying out almost desperately against believing what the media tell us, while Tom Cora gently croons the part of the Soviet air controllers as they decide to destroy the plane.
Skeleton Crew was a two-man band with both performers playing drums with their feet along with electronics and strings. Here they set a contrast between the grand, arcing lines of the cello and a homey picking of the violin that's almost shockingly sweet and funny.
Critical of anti-democratic trends in the West, Skeleton Crew was criticized by fans in Eastern Europe for taking freedom for granted.
from Learn to Talk (Rift (US)/RecRec (Switz) Rift/RecRec 08/05) available on CD - Learn to Talk/Country of Blinds (RecRec (ReCDec 512))