Blast From The Past: Blossom DearieBy Benjamin Shapiro
Memorial Day messed me up. Not in the black-out, hang-over way. Some of the Noisey crew barbecued on a Brooklyn roof Saturday night and we all ate more hot dogs than we previoiusly thought possible. First BBQ's of the season always end up in gastro-intestinal trauma. So today when I limped into work I was starving for some inspiration. Peering over an intern's shoulder, I saw she was streaming some Blossom Dearie on her computer.
You know Kirsten Dunst's character in <i>Interview With The Vampire</i>? The tiny child vampire who's actually like forty years old and bad-ass? That's all I can think of when I hear Dearie sing. She's one of the most underrated female jazz vocalists of the 20th century, probably because her voice sounds like a tiny baby cartoon. Underneath her squeal you can hear this worldly inflection and you know that she's smarter than most of the kids you hang out with. And she was rocking the heavy horn-rimmed nerd glasses way before Josh Hartnett.
This track, "It Amazes Me," is one of my favorites. Dearie tells an intimate story about her own self-loathing. When a man falls in love with her, all she can do is be amazed by what he sees in her. Nothing she does deserves praise, yet he praises her all the same. Combine that with the slick piano parts (played by Dearier herself) and a slow-sizzling full-band arrangement and you get this gem, released on Verve in the late fifties. Throw this on during a first date and see what happens.