Saturday, May 14, 2011

This is the voice, or why Arlene just wants to be Blossom Dearie

I love music.  Everybody knows that.  And I listen to a variety of styles.  But I always go back to certain types of artists and I'm in one of those periods right now.

This morning I was on youtube (can't you just spend way too much time on that site??) and watched this video of Blossom Dearie.  She is older in this video but still has the same voice I love and plays the piano with such magic.  Her song selections are always a treat to hear.  Side Note:  After I watched this video, the CO Boy woke up and we had to watch "Unpack your Adjectives", the old Schoolhouse Rock video in which Blossom's voice is featured.  See.  Everyone loves Blossom.  Here she is with Billy Taylor.  The lyrics to this song make me laugh.

Then fast forward to about a decade ago when I found Stacy Kent.  Her phrasing is so deceptively simple...and gorgeous.  Her song selections are wonderful and her recent LP is in French with some French standards as well as some current compositions.  But one standard that makes it into my all-time Top 10 is "You Are There", written by Dave Frishberg.  She has a wonderful recording of this song.  Unfortunately no video, but you MUST listen to the song below.  Just close your eyes and listen to her the beautiful song. Interestingly enough, Blossom recorded this song but I can't find a video of it either.

And then there's the jazz that is more tinged with Brazilian rhythms.  I love Gretchen Parloto.  She is so free in her singing but yet she knows exactly where she is.  She's singing "Flor de Lis," in this video.

Fast forward to just today and I stumbled upon Jules Day.  She and the Roping Dummy are FB friends.  They have a lot of mutual jazz musician friends from the Los Angeles days.  Her songs are original compositions, and for the most part I like them very much.  She looks like Diana Krall just a bit, but not nearly as annoying with an almost-dead delay in vocal delivery (sorry, DK - you're a fab pianist, but listening to you sing brings out such anxiety as I wait for you to get the words out).  Jules is a blend of jazz, pop and bossa.  I'm diggin' it.

So I'm just gonna samba my way upstairs for the night and sing softly like these ladies, albeit not as beautifully.


Margaret said...

I need to check out the French music; she has a voice a bit like Edith Piaf, different yet beautiful.

Isabel said...

Not as beautifully? I guess you don't listen to yourself, do you?