This CD release contains two outstanding albums by singer Blossom Dearie in their entirety. On the classic LP 'Once Upon a Summertime', her vocals and piano are backed by a superb jazz trio consisting of Mundell Lowe on guitar, Ray Brown on bass and Ed Thigpen on drums, while on 'My Gentleman Friend', presenting nearly the same instrumentation, Lowe is replaced by Kenny Burrell and flutist Bobby Jaspar is added on a few songs.
A trio version by Dearie of one of the tunes from Once Upon a Summertime has been added as a bonus.
01. Tea For Two 3:24
02. Surrey With The Fringe On Top 4:20
03. Moonlight Saving Time 2:03
04. It Amazes Me 4:20
05. If I Were A Bell 3:09
06. Were Together 2:06
07. Teach Me Tonight 2:42
08. Once Upon A Summertime 2:47
09. Down With Love 1:43
10. Manhattan 4:20
11. Doop-Doo-De-Doo (A Doodlin Song) 2:19
12. Our Love Is Here To Stay 3:11
13. Little Jazz Bird 3:43
14. Gentleman Friend 3:50
15. Its Too Good To Talk About Now 3:09
16. Chez Moi 3:10
17. You Fascinate Me So 3:33
18. Youve Got Something I Want 2:37
19. Boum 2:11
20. Letang 2:27
21. Hello Love 2:52
22. Someone To Watch Over Me 5:57
23. Surrey With The Fringe On Top 2:56*
Total time: 73:02 min.
Tracks #1-12, from the Verve album
"Once Upon a Summertime" (MG V-2111)
Tracks #13-22, from the Verve album
"My Gentleman Friend" (MG V-2125)
(*) Bonus track not on the original albums
Blossom Dearie (vocals & piano), Bobby Jaspar (flute on #16,19 & 20), Mundell Lowe (guitar on #1-12), Kenny Burrell (guitar on #13-22), Ray Brown (bass) and Ed Thigpen (drums).
Tracks #1-12, recorded in New York, September 12 & 13, 1958
Tracks #13-22, recorded in New York, April 8-9 & May 21-22, 1959
Personnel on track #23:
Blossom Dearie (piano), Herman Garst (bass), and Bernard Planchenault (drums).
Recorded in Paris, France, 1955
Original sessions produced by Norman Granz
"Ms Dearie was a unique artist and this reissue finds her at her very best."
Gordon Jack -Jazz Journal
-Once Upon a Summertime
"Miss Dearie is an accomplished pianist of strong jazz direction and a singer of such originality that one may liken an appreciation of her voice to the enjoyment of the anchovy one simply has to develop a taste for it. Charm is what this album's got and plenty of it."
John A. Tynan -Down Beat
"Vocalist Blossom Dearie's Summetime is a low-key collection of chamber-jazz arranged for a small trio. Working with guitarist Mundell Lowe, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Ed Thigpen, Dearie sings the material with a gentle conviction; she may never sound passionate, but she never sounds like she doesn't care. The result is a pleasant record, that might never be a compelling listen, but it's never a bad one."
Thom Owens -All Music Guide
-My Gentleman Friend
"The most expressive of jazz vocalists, Blossom Dearie's first three records for Verve -- all masterpieces -- displayed an artist with an uncommon ability to transfer a well-worn standard into a new song, usually informed by her light touch with piano and voice as well as her delightful coquette persona. My Gentleman Friend, her final full-length for the label, suffers only in comparison to her previous work; with fewer all-time standards available from her performing repertoire, Dearie was forced to resort to a few French titles and many middle-rank or then-current standards. It doesn't come as a surprise, then, that the song with the most compositional weight -- George and Ira Gershwin's "Someone to Watch Over Me" -- is the highlight. Dearie gracefully tiptoes through the classic, her reading rosy and meditative. Another Gershwin tune, "Little Jazz Bird," leads off the record with Dearie affecting her usual blend of warmth and insouciance. Aside from those two, the rest of the material is Blossom by numbers: simply average, forgettable songs given solid readings. The backing very nearly makes up for the lack of great compositions -- Dearie leads a quartet comprising her piano, Kenny Burrell on guitar, Ray Brown on bass, and Ed Thigpen on drums."
John Bush -All Music Guide