Renowned for her delicate baby girl voice and conversational approach to singing, the delightful Blossom Dearie (1924-2009) was a unique American jazz singer and pianist whose famous admirers ranged from jazz icon Miles Davis and pop princess Kylie Minogue (with whom Dearie worked) to indie rock king, Elliott Smith. A largely forgotten and overlooked chapter in her life and career is the focus of a keenly anticipated six-CD box set to be released by Universal in June called Discover Who I Am – The Fontana Years London 1966-1970, which chronicles four fruitful years that the New York-born singer spent in London.  

The handsomely presented package documents Dearie’s transformation into a songwriter and shows her moving from jazz into a more pop-tinged musical realm. It includes four complete albums remastered at Abbey Road studio: two live LPs It’s Blossom Time At Ronnie Scott’s and Sweet Blossom Dearie plus a brace of studio ventures, Soon It’s Gonna Rain (which has never been reissued before anywhere in the world) and That’s Just The Way I Want To Be. Dearie recorded all four albums for the Fontana label in London using local noted musicians such as flugelhornist Ian Carr, trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, and saxophonist Harold McNair.

What is most alluring about the box set is the fact that the set includes two discs packed with 27 previously unissued performances from her London sessions, which were discovered in the singer’s home after her death. They include tracks that the singer never recorded elsewhere; among them, indelible versions of George Harrison’s ‘Something,’ Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s ‘What The World Needs Now,’ and Buffy Saint Marie’s ‘Until It’s Time For You To Go,’ all beautifully rendered in Dearie’s unmistakeable style. 

Accompanying the music is a lavishly detailed booklet presented in a hardback book that includes an eloquent essay by Dearie’s friend Jaime Smith and numerous previously unseen photos.

Pre-order here:

Blossom Dearie’s Discover Who I Am – The Fontana Years London 1966-1970 is released by Universal on June 30