Blossom Dearie: My Gentleman Friend (1959)
However, Dearie would probably be satisfied with this assessment, content to deliver pleasant pop to the masses. It a shame, though, that Burrell and Bobby Jaspar (who guests on two tracks) aren’t given more to do than add a few indifferent solos. While Dearie has turned in excellent performances before – her album of Comden and Green is a subdued classic and features a more eager Burrell – she makes some odd choices on this 1959 record, as if she’s running out of good songs to interpret. The obligatory French tunes are fairly pleasant, but forgettable and only “Someone To Watch Over Me” has a depth that suggests Dearie has a real knack for putting an intimate spin on a song we have all heard before.
Perhaps Dearie’s real legacy will always be paving the way for sultry songbirds like Diana Krall, and fans of that particular style will probably find My Gentleman Friend appealing. Others will wish a meal was served before dessert.
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Track Listing: 1. Little Jazz Bird 2. Gentleman Friend 3. It
Personnel: Blossom Deaire-vocal, piano; Kenny Burrell-guitar; Ray Brown-bass; Ed Thigpen-drums; Bobby Jaspar-flute.
Record Label: Verve Music Group