That was her real name. It's important when appreciating Ms. Dearie's phenomenon as it pointed to a destined air in her lovely genius. She sang like an eternal girl--smart, confident, energizing, intimate and wholly mysterious. It can also be said, and of so few others, that the academic quality of Ms. Dearie's art was a defining asset. She seemed to express the librarian's romantic daydream, one informed by languages, art, other lands and poetry. A specific kind of cool was lost with her.
Stephen Holden's obituary for The New York Times can be read here. But indulging myself, here is a particularly gratifying excerpt:
Ms. Dearie didn't suffer fools gladly and was unafraid to voice her disdain for music she didn't like; the songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber were a particular pet peeve.
Tonight the turntable will hum late with the 1956 Blossom Dearie album on Verve Records, I imagine to the usual--if wistful this time, infatuated glances at the lovely image adorning its cover.