An idiosyncratic, girlish voice, snappy, flawless deliverance, and an irrepressible sense of light-hearted swing made Blossom Dearie one of the most pleasant singers of the vocal era. Her tenderness and glisten ensured that she'd never treat standards as the well-worn songs they often appeared in less competent 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.
This CD combines together two unrelated solo piano sets. The nine performances by Thelonious Monk are a bit familiar since these renditions (which are highlighted by "'Round Midnight," "Well You Needn't," "We See" and "Hackensack") had been previously reissued by GNP/Crescendo and Mosaic. However the 13 selections (including three alternate takes) by Joe Turner (no relation to singer Big Joe Turner) are much rarer. Turner, a talented American stride pianist who spent most of his life living in France, had only recorded ten songs as a leader prior to this 1952 session and is in top form for such numbers as "Hallelujah," "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea," "Wedding Boogie" and three versions of "Tea for Two." This CD is easily recommended to jazz piano collectors who do not already have the Monk selections.
In response to shortsighted comments implying that Stan Getz and Zoot Sims sounded too much like each other and too similar to Lester Young, Ira Gitler liked to use the analogy of "…a friend calling you on the telephone. You know who it is immediately. It's the same thing when you hear a musician play." The secret, of course, is to listen so carefully and consistently that you feel as though you have become a friend of the artist. This sort of empathy is a vital ingredient in jazz - the empathy between composers, players, and listeners. Hearing Stan Getz recorded live in performance at Boston's Storyville club on October 28, 1951, spells it out marvelously…
Alert Charlie Parker fans were delighted when this 1996 CD came out for it includes two previously unreleased (and well-recorded) radio broadcasts featuring the masterful altoist. Parker is in fine form during his two appearances at Boston's Hi Hat. With Symphony Sid as the disc jockey (he gets Bird to say a few words here and there), Parker romps through his usual repertoire, finding something fresh to say on songs that he had already been playing at least five years.