Posts Tagged ‘Verve Records’

Blossom Dearie – Sweet Georgie Fame

(click song title above to listen)

Blossom Dearie had a decades-long cult following as a musicians’ musician. Born in the foothills of the Catskill mountains, Dearie moved to NYC in the mid-1940s where she became part of the jazz scene, hanging out with Miles Davis, his arranger Gil Evans, and saxophonist Gerry Mulligan. Blossom moved to Paris in the 1950s where she worked with Annie Ross and her eight-piece vocal group the Blue Stars.

Dearie met impresario Norman Ganz who had become a fan of her girlish voice, unusual choice of material, and jazz-influenced style of singing. Ganz started Verve Records in 1956 and invited her to return to NY. She began her solo career with a half-dozen Verve albums and performed in jazz clubs and her first television appearance on the Tonight Show with Jack Paar.

Another of her favorite cities called her back across the Atlantic where she set up shop in London with famed residencies at Ronnie Scott’s and Annie’s Room. This week’s top tune comes from her 1970 album That’s Just the Way I Want to Be and is notable that for the first time, the focus is on Dearie as a songwriter.

Blossom pays tribute to her favorite British rock singers with “Dusty Springfield”, “Hey John” (Lennon), and “Sweet Georgie Fame”. Fame, a rhythm and blues and jazz singer, had a string of #1 hits in the 1960s plus a version of Bobby Hebb‘s “Sunny” that made #13 in 1966. Georgie continues to perform to this day often working with Van Morrison and Bill Wyman.

BLOSSOM DEARIE THATS+JUST+THE+WAY+I+WANT+TO+BE 511909 300x298 Blossom Dearie   Sweet Georgie Fame

Contact & Licensing Info
Written by Blossom Dearie & Sandra Harris
Published by Notable Music Co. ASCAP
Contact: Damon Booth/info@notablemusic.net
Administered by Downtown Music Publishing
Contact: Sean McGraw/seanmcgraw@dmpgroup.com
Master controlled by Universal Music Group.

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Ella Fitzgerald – Witchcraft

(click song title above to listen)

We celebrate the centennial of one of the best interpreters of song there ever was, the First Lady of Song, Miss Ella Fitzgerald! This week’s Top Tune was recorded live in Chicago on August 10, 1958 at Mister Kelly’s and features Lou Levy on piano, Max Bennett on bass, and Gus Johnson on drums. This must-hear set was remarkably one of the few live recordings of Fitzgerald captured in a small club.

The tune of course is the classic by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh, the pair of Great American Songbook writers whose marvelous, witty, and sophisticated output also included The Best is Yet to Come, I’ve Got Your Number, I Walk A Little Faster, and The Rules of the Road just to name a few.

Born in Newport News, Virginia on April 25, 1917, Ella in her long and illustrious career won 13 Grammy Awards, A Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Medal of Arts, was inducted in the Down Beat magazine Hall of Fame, and received the Kennedy Center Honors for her contributions to the arts. If you had to pick one album that sums up her magic best, for our money it’s the 11 songs Ella and Louis Armstrong recorded one fine day in 1956 with the Oscar Petersen Quartet. Read all about that masterpiece HERE.

The GRAMMY Museum presents Ella at 100: Celebrating the Artistry of Ella Fitzgerald. The Exhibit opened yesterday and celebrates 100 years of Fitzgerald’s legacy through rare recordings, photos, and one-of-a-kind stage costumes. Click HERE for more info.

650be9bab127343333dfc8bd8b2d0618 300x232 Ella Fitzgerald   Witchcraft

Contact & Licensing Info
Published by Notable Music Co. ASCAP (Cy Coleman). Contact: Damon Booth / info@notablemusic.net
Administered by Downtown Music Publishing
Contact: Sean McGraw / seanmcgraw@dmpgroup.com
Published by MPL. Inc ASCAP (Carolyn Leigh)
Master controlled by Verve/Universal Music Group.

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Blossom Dearie – I Walk A Little Faster

(click song title above to listen)

But even though I meet
at each and every corner

with nothing but disaster
I set my chin a little higher
I hope a little longer
Build a little stronger
Castle in the air. And thinking you’ll be there
I walk a little faster

The New York Times once described Blossom Dearie as “an interpretive minimalist with caviar taste in songs and musicians, she was a genre unto herself”.

This week’s Top Tune comes from our favorite of the six albums Blossom recorded for the Verve label, 1958′s Give Him the Ooh-La-La. Recorded at the high point of her recording career (all six Verve albums are considered cult classics), the album features an all-star lineup of stellar jazz musicians including Jo Jones (drums), Ray Brown (bass), Herb Ellis (guitar) and Dearie’s own masterful piano playing.

A great interpreter of The Great American Songbook, Dearie’s romantic delivery of the great Cy Coleman/Carolyn Leigh ballad “I Walk A Little Faster” is tops with us, possibly only equalled by Fiona Apple‘s version in 2009.

tumblr l4eip9fn4o1qbn82v1 298x300 Blossom Dearie   I Walk A Little Faster

Contact & Licensing:
Publishing controlled by Notable Music Co. (Cy Coleman). Contact: Damon Booth / info@notablemusic.net
Administered by Downtown Music Publishing
Contact: Sean McGraw / seanmcgraw@dmpgroup.com
Publishing controlled by Carwin Music Co. Inc (Carolyn Leigh)
Administered by EMI U. Catalog Inc.
http://www.emimusicpub.com/licensing/index.php
Master controlled by Verve Records. Contact: Doug James / doug.james@umusic.com

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Blossom Dearie – Too Good to Talk About

Before Blossom Dearie moved to London in the early 1960′s appearing regularly at Ronnie Scott’s and on Dudley Moore’s popular television show, she could be found playing piano and turning heads in the jazz clubs of New York City.

Rooted in jazz and popular song, Dearie’s signature chic and sleek vocal style won her praise among critics and fellow musicians alike as one of the greatest interpreters of the Great American Songbook. Around the time of this album, Miles Davis was such a fan that he would personally invite her and her combo to perform between his legendary sets at the Village Vanguard.

This week’s Top Tune (click the song title above to play) was written by Cy Coleman & Carolyn Leigh and comes from her sixth album for Norman Granz’s Verve Records, My Gentleman Friend. A champion of witty & rarified material, Blossom masterfully tackles a couple of Gershwin tunes on this album and an additional Coleman & Leigh classic, “You Fascinate Me So”.

Recorded in 1959, Too Good to Talk About swings finely and features a great solo by Kenny Burrell on guitar and some sweet brushwork by Ed Thigpen on drums. Dearie plays piano and the impeccable diction she had become renowned for is on display.

51Ju+J6OOHL1 300x300 Blossom Dearie   Too Good to Talk About

Contact & Licensing Info
Publishing controlled by Notable Music Co. (Cy Coleman)
Contact: Damon Booth – info@notablemusic.net
Administered by Downtown Music Publishing
Contact: Sean McGraw – seanmcgraw@dmpgroup.com
Publishing controlled by Carwin Music Co. Inc (Carolyn Leigh)
Administered by EMI U. Catalog Inc.
Master controlled by Universal Music Group / http://www.universalfilmandtvmusic.com

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