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Give Him the Ooh-La-La

Blossom Dearie

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Album Review

Of the six recordings Blossom Dearie did for the Verve label in the '50s, Give Him the Ooh-La-La is the third one to be released on CD. Three titles still remain in the vaults including a Betty Comden and Johnny Green tribute as well as a Broadway Hits collection. It's a shame because Dearie's girlishly dynamic voice, subtle piano playing, and rarified choice of contemporary material made her recordings unique among '50s jazz vocal outings. Give Him the Ooh-La-La is no exception, with stellar backing by regular bassist Ray Brown, drummer Jo Jones and guitarist Herb Ellis, and Dearie's taut arrangements of a set of glowing ballads and brisk swingers. Included are a few well-worn standards like "Just One of Those Things" and "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea." More intriguing, however, are Dearie's inclusion of obscure titles like Cy Coleman's "The Riviera," a tongue and cheek portrait of Europe's playground, as well as his "I Walk a Little Faster." Additionally, there's the gently executed and innocuous self-help number "Try Your Wings," a bouncy "The Middle of Love," and a nod to her club stint in Paris with the French tune "Plus Je T'Embrasse." As usual, both Dearie's piano and voice are instilled with impeccable playfulness on mischievous numbers like the title track and in the tender pathos of ballads such as "Like Someone in Love." Like Dearie's two other available titles Blossom Dearie and Once Upon a Summertime, Give Him the Ooh-La-La features a great collection of tunes from the high point of her recording career. The dilemma is not which recording to get, but where to start.

Biography

Born: 28 April 1926 in East Durham, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A distinctive, girlish voice, crisp, impeccable delivery, and an irrepressible sense of playful swing made Blossom Dearie one of the most enjoyable singers of the vocal era. Her warmth and sparkle ensured that she'd never treat standards as the well-worn songs they often appeared in less capable hands. And though her reputation was made on record with a string of excellent...
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Give Him the Ooh-La-La, Blossom Dearie
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