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Teach Me Tonight

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Album Review

Aside from the music-loving Japanese, few countries have been up to the task of compiling the irrepressible Blossom Dearie. The British él label, however, offered a wonderful 2009 collection titled Teach Me Tonight that, while not the perfect first choice, offers an excellent companion to her self-titled 1957 debut (one of the best vocal LPs of its era). Included here are the complete contents of her second and third albums, Give Him the Ooh-La-La and Once Upon a Summertime, recorded at a pair of two-day sessions in early 1957 and 1958, respectively (oddly, the later date appears first). Verve head Norman Granz featured Dearie in her ideal setting, a small and tight rhythm section including, variously, Ray Brown on bass, Herb Ellis or Mundell Lowe on guitar, and Ed Thigpen or Jo Jones on drums. Although her debut remains the gold standard for Blossom Dearie LPs, these two are close competition, with Dearie providing her eccentric and intriguing interpretations of increasingly shopworn standards. As a bonus, the 25th track is a 1952 version of "Moody's Mood for Love," recorded with James Moody himself.


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 albums for Verve during the '50s, she remained a draw with Manhattan cabaret audiences long into the new millennium. Actually...
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Teach Me Tonight, Blossom Dearie
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