The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Art of Jazz #87
Blossom Dearie Dies at 82

Give Him the Ooh-La-La
(Blossom Dearie)
(Verve Records; 1958)

Winsome and wily jazz pianist/vocalist Blossom Dearie has passed away in New York at the age of 82, of natural causes.

You can read the brief Associated Press obit here, and an L.A. Times music blog entry here (complete with a clip of her Schoolhouse Rock entry Figure Eight).


Ed Howard said...

Wow, that sucks. I love her song at the end of Rivette's History of Marie and Julien.

A Human On Earth said...

“Always True to You in My Fashion” from the “Night and Day: Cole Porter Songbook” CD is one of my favorites. Great lyrics follow (1948) - delivered by one of the best:

If a custom-tailored vet
Asks me out for something wet,
When the vet begins to pet, I cry "Hooray!"
But I'm always true to you, darlin', in my fashion,
Yes, I'm always true to you, darlin', in my way.

michaelE said...

Her take on Jobim's "Wave" always gets me.

So close your eyes for that's a lovely way to be...
Aware of things your heart alone was meant to see...

Mr DeBakey said...

"...Grand canyons come from Colorado
Gold comes from Nevada
Divorces also do
And you come from Rhode Island
And Rhode Island is famous for you

Pencils come from Pennsylvania
Vests from Vest Virginia
Tents from Tentassee
They know mink where they grow mink in Wyomink
A camp chair in New Hampchair - That's for me
Minnows come from Minnowsota
Coats come from Dakota But why
should you be blue?..."

a totally unique style

Robert Fiore said...

A soubrette to the end. Blossom Dearie was her real name, too. My favorite performance, apart from the title song of the album pictured, was her version of Charles Trenet's Boom, in French but without the animal noises.

Mr DeBakey said...

A good interview here:

Mannock said...

Anyone who thought that Andrew Lloyd Webber sucks is my friend. Thank you, Ms Dearie!

BlizzB said...

Mine too. "Blossom is Blossom." Gerry Mulligan. My favorite album? "Give him the oh-la-la." Beautiful songs, great lyrics and a fantastic band too, Blossom's sparkling piano and wistful and funny vocals included. Blossom, you will be missed.

Campaspe said...

My late father was crazy about her. In the late 80s had me searching all over the city for one of her harder-to-find albums. May she rest in peace.