All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Sara Gazarek: Blossom & Bee

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
All chicken or feathers, feast or famine, flood or drought; regarding jazz vocal releases, there is always a healthy steady stream of new music being produced. The vast majority is good while, as it should be, the truly exceptional are of a rarer variety. The release of Kate McGarry's exceptional Girl Talk (Palmetto, 2012) might have been just a singular event of excellence, except that Sara Gazarek decided to join McGarry at Palmetto records, releasing the equally fine Blossum & Bee, signaling a trend of excellence in jazz vocals released over a compressed event horizon.

Vocalist Gazarek has already had a banner year, considering her collaboration with Triosence on Where Time Stands Still (Charleston Square, 2012). Add to this her Palmetto recording and the singer might be found attaining artistic cruising altitude. Gazarek considers herself an "interpreter" or "song stylist," not unlike Frank Sinatra or Tony Bennett, as opposed to a vocal gymnast capable of scat or vocalese fireworks. Her interpretive ability is true and her style is a perfect updating of what the song stylist does.

Gazarek ensures her comfort zone with the presence of her Los Angeles- based trio: pianist Josh Nelson, bassist Hamilton Price and drummer Zach Harmon. She is also joined and supported by producer Larry Goldings, who provides organ, piano and melodica support, and an appearance by guitarist vocalist John Pizzarelli, who capably duets with Gazarek on her own "Blossom & Bee," singing sweetly and providing that 1930s guitar sound to the retro-related piece. The sum of this band is that it facilitates Garzarek's global creative vision in delightfully unexpected ways.

Garzarek's confident voice and sure ear enable her to capably sing across genre and periods. The opening "Everything I've Got" sounds every bit Rodgers and Hart updated with a very smart and shiny contemporary arrangement. This is very much old wine poured into a new wineskin with all of the show tune charm with tasteful instrumental updating. The Gazarek-Nelson original "Fly Away Birdie" is softly gospel-R&B, with Nelson playing electric piano in solution with Golding's soulful organ. Again, an inventive coupling of the old and new.

A thoroughly contemporary and appropriately performed "The Luckiest" is a Ben Folds composition close to Gazarek, having had a place at her wedding. "Lucky to be Me" is given a power-ballad reading, with drummer Harmon providing expansive percussion that sweeps the song along. Old standbys "Tea for Two" and "I'm Old Fashioned" follow Gazarek's already established formula of genius modern interpretation that does not go so far as to ruin the material. Her progressively conservative spirit is what broadens the center of her interpretations. Her closing with Schoolhouse Rock's "Unpack Your Adjectives" shows that no material is off limits to this talent singer, who is sure to keep delighting with the highest quality.

Promo by Google

Are you looking for a way to save money on auto insurance? We've taken the mystery out of this confusing subject by outlining 10 simple steps to saving money while getting the best coverage for yourself and your car. Welcome:
Auto Insurance

Track Listing: Everything I've Got; Blossom & Bee; Fly Away Birdie; The Luckiest; Down With Love; Lucky To Be Me; Tea For Two; I'm Old Fashioned; So This Is Love; The Lies Of Handsome Men; Some Of These Days; Unpack Your Adjectives.

Personnel: Sara Gazarek: voice; Josh Nelson: piano; Hamilton Price: bass; Zach Harmon: drums; John Pizzarelli: voice, guitar; Larry Goldings: piano, melodica, organ.

Title: Blossom & Bee | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Palmetto Records


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Everything I've Got

Everything I've Got

Sara Gazarek
Blossom & Bee



Sara Gazarek

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Dream In The Blue

Dream In The Blue

Steel Bird Music

Blossom & Bee

Blossom & Bee

Palmetto Records



Native Language

Return To You

Return To You

Native Language Music


Related Articles

Read Lala Belu CD/LP/Track Review
Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read All Melody CD/LP/Track Review
All Melody
by Phil Barnes
Published: March 23, 2018
Read The Future is Female CD/LP/Track Review
The Future is Female
by Paul Rauch
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Hunters & Scavengers CD/LP/Track Review
Hunters & Scavengers
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow CD/LP/Track Review
Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Transatlantic CD/LP/Track Review
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 22, 2018
Read "Sektion 3-7" CD/LP/Track Review Sektion 3-7
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert" CD/LP/Track Review I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert
by Jerome Wilson
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "Graviton" CD/LP/Track Review Graviton
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 8, 2017
Read "Way Out West" CD/LP/Track Review Way Out West
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: February 16, 2018
Read "Resting Spirit" CD/LP/Track Review Resting Spirit
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 13, 2017
Read "Alaya" CD/LP/Track Review Alaya
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 9, 2017