Biography All Music GuideWikipedia
All Music Guide:
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 born with the name Blossom Dearie in the New York Catskills, she began playing piano at an early age and studied classical music before making the switch to jazz while in high school. After graduation, she moved to New York and began appearing with vocal groups like the Blue Flames (attached to Woody Herman) and the Blue Reys (with Alvino Rey). She also played cocktail piano around the city, and moved to Paris in 1952 to form her own group, the Blue Stars of France. Dearie also appeared in a nightclub act with Annie Ross, and made a short, uncredited appearance on King Pleasure's vocalese classic, "Moody's Mood for Love." She recorded an obscure album of piano solos, and in 1954, the Blue Stars hit the national charts with a French version of "Lullaby of Birdland."
After hearing Dearie perform in Paris in 1956, Norman Granz signed her to Verve and she returned to America by the end of the year. Her eponymous debut for Verve featured a set of standards that slanted traditional pop back to its roots in Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, and cabaret. Her focus on intimate readings of standards ("Deed I Do," "Thou Swell") and the relaxed trio setting (bassist Ray Brown and drummer Jo Jones, plus Dearie on piano) drew nods to her cabaret background.
On her next few records, Dearie stuck to her focus on standards and small groups, though her gift for songwriting emerged as well with songs like "Blossom's Blues." She performed in solo settings at supper clubs all over New York, and appeared on the more cultured of the late-'50s New York talk shows. Her husband, flutist Bobby Jaspar, made several appearances on her records, notably 1959's My Gentleman Friend. After a recording break in the early '60s, Blossom Dearie signed to Capitol for one album (1964's May I Come In?), but then recorded sparingly during the rest of the decade.
Finally, in the early '70s, she formed her own Daffodil Records label and began releasing her own work, including 1974's Blossom Dearie Sings and the following year's My Favorite Celebrity Is You. She also performed at Carnegie Hall with Anita O'Day and Joe Williams, billed as the Jazz Singers. She continued to perform and record during the 1980s through to the early 2000s, centered mostly in New York but also a regular attraction in London as well. She retired from playing live in 2006 due to health concerns and died quietly in her Greenwich Village apartment on February 7, 2009.
Blossom Margrete Dearie (April 28, 1924–February 7, 2009) was an American jazz singer and pianist, often performing in the bebop genre and remembered for her light and girlish voice. One of the last supper club performers, she performed regular engagements in London and New York City over many years.
Early life 
Dearie was born on April 28, 1924, in East Durham, New York, to a father of Irish-Scottish descent and a mother of Norwegian descent. As a child she studied classical piano but switched to jazz in her teens.
Career beginnings 
After high school Dearie moved to New York City to pursue a music career and began to sing in groups such as the Blue Flames (with the Woody Herman Orchestra) and the Blue Reys (with Alvino Rey's band) before starting her solo career.
She moved to Paris in 1952 and formed a vocal group, The Blue Stars of France, which included Michel Legrand's sister, Christiane Legrand, and Bob Dorough. In 1954 the group had a hit in France with a French-language version of "Lullaby of Birdland". The Blue Stars would later evolve into the Swingle Singers. While in Paris Dearie met her future husband, Belgian flutist and saxophonist Bobby Jaspar. On her first solo album, released two years later, she plays the piano but does not sing.
One of her most famous songs from that period is "The Riviera", which was written and composed by Cy Coleman and Joseph McCarthy Jr. in 1956.
Late 1950s and 1960s 
After returning from France, Dearie made her first six American albums as a solo singer and pianist for Verve Records in the late 1950s and early 1960s, mostly in a small trio or quartet setting. Dave Garroway, host of The Today Show and an early fan of Dearie, featured her on several occasions, increasing her exposure with the popular audience. In 1962, she recorded a radio commercial for Hires Root Beer. As it proved very popular, the LP Blossom Dearie Sings Rootin' Songs was released as a premium item that could be ordered for one dollar and a proof of purchase.
In 1952 she and King Pleasure recorded "I'm in the Mood for Love" (aka "Moody's Mood for Love") and this is so noted on the Prestige CD entitled King Pleasure Sings.
In 1964, she recorded the album May I Come In? (Capitol/EMI Records). It was recorded (atypically for her) with an orchestra. During this same period, Dearie performed frequently in New York supper clubs and in 1966 made her first appearance at Ronnie Scott's club in London. She recorded four albums in the United Kingdom during the 1960s that were released on the Fontana label.
Two of her most requested titles were "I'm Hip" and "Quality Time" by Dave Frishberg.
1970s and later 
After a period of inactivity, Dearie recorded the album That's Just the Way I Want to Be (containing the cult song "Dusty Springfield", an ode to the British pop star co-written by Dearie with Norma Tanega), which was released in 1970. In 1974, Dearie established her own label, Daffodil Records, which allowed her to have full control of the recording and distribution of her albums. Dearie appeared on television throughout her career, most notably giving her voice to the children's educational series Schoolhouse Rock!. Some of her pieces in this series were written by her good friend Bob Dorough, the jazz singer and composer. Her voice can be heard on "Mother Necessity", "Figure Eight", and "Unpack Your Adjectives".
Songwriter Johnny Mercer, with whom she collaborated for her 1975 song, "I'm Shadowing You", gave one of his final compositions to Dearie for the title song of her 1976 Daffodil album, My New Celebrity is You.
In 1983, Dearie was awarded the first Mabel Mercer Foundation Award.
Her voice and songs have been featured on the soundtracks of several films, including Kissing Jessica Stein, My Life Without Me, The Squid and the Whale, The Adventures of Felix, and The Artist. She also recorded songs with other singers, including Lyle Lovett. She continued to perform in clubs until 2006.
Dearie died "after a long illness" on February 7, 2009, at her apartment in Greenwich Village, New York City. She was survived by her older brother as well as a nephew and a niece. Her interment was in Flushing, New York's All Faiths Cemetery.