CD Review: ‘Dear Blossom,’ Nicki Parrott

A Tribute to Blossom Dearie
Nicki Parrott, vocals and string bass
Arbors Records, ARCD 19453

This Arbors CD is vocalist/string bassist Nicki Parrott’s interpretation of songs associated with late vocalist/pianist Blossom Dearie. It’s interesting to compare and contrast these two talented vocalist-instrumentalists. They both have unique, clear vocal delivery and subtle tones.

Both the late Ms. Dearie and Ms. Parrott have lots of YouTube presentations that are easily searchable. So, one can easily find and compare.

For those not familiar with Nicki’s musical history, here’s a brief summary. She is native Australian who came to the U.S. and studied bass with Rufus Reid. Vocalization came later when she was regularly featured for about a decade with Les Paul’s Monday night sessions. Paul was intrigued with her vocalizing and encouraged her.

Nicki is supported here by pianist Chris Grasso, vibraphonist Chuck Redd and drummer Lenny Robinson. Guesting on some numbers are clarinetist/tenor saxophonist Engelbert Wrobel, percussionist Vince Cherico, and cornetist Warren Vache’.

Selections, all associated with Ms. Dearie, vary from sentimental to hip, e.g. I Wish You Love and It Might As Well be Spring for the former and Peel Me a Grape and I’m Hip for the latter.

Pensacola fans will remember fondly Ms. Parrott’s appearance at Pensacola JazzFest several years ago.

Thanks to Rachel Domber of Arbors Records for continuing to supply us with high quality jazz recordings.

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