Blossom Dearie, 82, a jazz and cabaret singer, pianist and songwriter whose career began in the 1940s and continued until she stopped performing in 2006, died Feb. 7 of natural causes at her home in Greenwich Village.

Born Marguerite Blossom Dearie in East Durham, N.Y., on April 29, 1924, she studied classical piano as a child but became interested in jazz while in high school. Dearie moved to New York City in the ’40s, singing with a vocal group called the Blue Flames and with Alvino Rey’s band. In 1952 she formed a Paris-based vocal group called the Blue Stars, which scored with a French version of “Lullaby of Birdland.” While in Paris she married flutist Bobby Jaspar. In 1956, having launched a solo career, she signed to Verve Records, for which she recorded six albums considered classics of vocal jazz.

Continue reading and view some of her performances after the break.

Dearie’s career continued to build during the 1960s. Usually working with a small group, she recorded albums, made commercials and appeared on television often, particularly on The Today Show, which boosted her popularity. One of her most successful albums of the period was 1964’s May I Come In?, for Capitol Records. She also recorded four albums in England and became a fixture of Ronnie Scott’s jazz club there.

In 1974, Dearie launched her own Daffodil Records label, releasing a series of albums considered among her finest.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Dearie family. — GFM


Live Performance – “I Won’t Dance

Surry With The Fringe On Top” (Daffodil/1977).