Correspondence: Frishberg On Dearie And Evans

Dave Frishberg writes with important information on a matter raised in the previous entry. 

I’m reading the Rifftides discussion about Blossom Dearie and Bill Evans, and who influenced who. I’d like to add my comment:
During the late sixties I played a couple weeks solo opposite the Bill Evans Trio at the Village Gate on Bleecker St, and had some conversations with Bill. I asked him how he came upon his piled-fourths voicing of chords, and his immediate answer was that he heard Blossom Dearie play that way and it really knocked him out. Then he did a little rave review of Blossom, naming her as one of his models of piano playing. It was such a surprising response that I never forgot it.

Dearie.jpgThumbnail image for Frishberg.jpgThumbnail image for Evans.jpg

A decade or so later Blossom and I were doing a two-piano act, and I got to see what he was talking about. Blossom showed me some voicings she was using,  and then I sat down at the same piano and tried them out but it didn’t sound like Blossom. I told her, “It sounds better when you do it.”  She said, “Oh well, I know this piano, I’m used to it.” The truth is she seemed to get her special sound out of any piano. Also, she could play softer than anyone I ever heard. The accompaniment she gave herself was all carefully composed, and she played it note for note every night.  Why not? It was perfect.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Reddit

Comments

  1. Jon Foley says

    If Bill Evans said it, and Dave Frishberg still says it, that just reinforces what I’ve always thought – Blossom Dearie was just about…perfect. Every once in a while, you run across an artist whose performances make you think – that couldn’t have been done better, by anyone. She was one; one of the few. I’m glad I was alive to hear her – alas, never in person, but still, I lived in the right time.