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Blossom & Bee


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Audio CD, June 19, 2012
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 19, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Palmetto Records
  • ASIN: B007ZU6H1E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,265 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Everything I've Got
2. Blossom & Bee
3. Fly Away Birdie
4. The Luckiest
5. Down With Love
6. Lucky To Be Me
7. Tea For Two
8. I'm Old Fashoined
9. So This Is Love
10. The Lies Of Handsome Men
11. Some Of These Days
12. Unpack Your Adjectives

Editorial Reviews

Hailed as "the next important jazz singer" (Don Heckman, La Times), Sara Gazarek recently recorded Blossom & Bee, her debut for the Palmetto label. Blessed with a beautiful, translucent voice, Gazarek is a strikingly original artist who continues to blur the line between innovation and emotional integrity. For her new project, she is joined by her all-star LA-based trio with guest appearances from guitarist-singer John Pizzarelli and the project s producer Larry Goldings on organ, piano and melodica.
Blossom & Bee is just the latest accomplishment in a career that is already filled with milestones. Sara Gazarek moved to Los Angeles in 2000 to attend the Thorton School of Music at USC, where she formed an important and lasting mentorship with Grammy Award-winning bassist John Clayton. In 2003 Sara won the Downbeat Award for Bess Collegiate Jazz Vocalist, which led to joining the Concord Jazz Festival tour, performing alongside Karin Allyson, Diane Schuur and Oleta Adams.

Customer Reviews

Their arrangements are unique and engaging.
Sue E. Goldford
I have never been a big fan of jazz music, but Sara Gazarek is causing me to fall in love with it!
D. Boudreau
Oh, and maybe Sara won't wait five years to release her next album . . .
Rocky Mountain Jazz Fan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rocky Mountain Jazz Fan on June 20, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Sara Gazarek burst hard and strong on the jazz vocal scene several years ago, released some great "first effort" albums, then waited five years to release another--this album. It was worth the wait. This album is not a radical departure from her earlier albums. In those earlier albums, Ms. Gazarek sang a mixture of jazz, pop, original, and sometimes obscure tunes, blending them into her own inviting vocal style. "Blossom and Bee" continues this pattern. As is likely the case with Sara's earlier albums, jazz purists may not find every tune to their liking. Though a jazz singer, Sara Gazarek, like many of today's female jazz singers, does not limit herself to jazz or Great American Songbook tunes. All of that said, a couple of the best tunes on this album, as was the case on her earlier albums, are not the "pure" jazz tunes. This outing is eclectic, but pleasingly so.

A formidable vocalist from her first recordings, Sara shows here that she has honed her craft even more since her last album. Like one of her teachers, Tierney Sutton (whose influence is clearly discernible in Sara's singing in this album), Sara also has teamed up with an accomplished and swinging ensemble of musicans to record this album. Especially noteworthy is Josh Nelson, with whom she had recorded before. Nelson, despite his relatively young age (like Sara), is a lion of a jazz pianist who, along with the rest of the band, shines as brightly as Sara herself.

With any "eclectic" album, for the individual listener, there will be some "hit" or "miss" tunes in that listener's mind, and this album is no exception. That is not to say that any tune on this album isn't good--they are all quite nice--but some will "resonate" more with some listeners more acutely.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Boudreau on August 23, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have never been a big fan of jazz music, but Sara Gazarek is causing me to fall in love with it! Her voice is strong and melodious, and the choice of tunes on this album is well suited to her range and style. I especially love her covers of "So This is Love" and "Unpack Your Adjectives," both of which take me back to my childhood in new and exciting ways. I have heard that some may say that this would not be the choice of standard jazz aficionados, but this matters not to me - the music is delightful, catchy and memorable. I do believe this album will be in heavy rotation for me for years to come.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kate on June 19, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Sara Gazarek, in my opinion, is one of the greatest jazz artists of our time. Bob Karlovits (Pittsburgh Tribune) wrote about this CD: "Someday, Sara Gazarek is going to be respected as one of the best singers in jazz instead of being a person whose great work sparks a "Who's that?" Her new album "Blossom & Bee" shows why that will be with its mixture of songs from Leonard Bernstein's "Lucky to Be Me" to Ben Folds' "The Luckiest." In between are versions of Richard Rodgers' and Lorenz Hart's "Everything I've Got" and even a version of "Tea for Two" that is worth hearing. All of these songs are products of Gazarek's wonderful voice and her sense of lyric. She does things with songs that never take them in inappropriate directions, but give them new life."
I totally agree! Five stars!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By csbrown on April 18, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought the CD primarily for one song, and I like it. The rest of the album is also very good. Ms Gazarek has a lovely voice without unusal quirks or gimmicks, and a sensitive feeling for the lyrics.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rick Cornell VINE VOICE on October 23, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Sara Gazarek insists that this is not a Blossom Dearie tribute, even though it is a collection of songs that Blossom covered. I agree, in that the two are very different singers in terms of the kind of sound each produces (or produced). But Blossom Dearie could captivate you with her zenlike approach to music-making. And this recording is all about zen.

With stellar performances by Josh Nelson (p), Hamilton Price (b), Zach Harmon (d) and producer Larry Goldings (o), these musicians cut to the core of each song and produce an irresistable vibe throughout. From the infectious swing of "Everything I Got Belongs to You" and "Down With Love,' to the most intimate cover ever of "Tea for Two," to the warmth of "So This Is Love," to the heartbreak of "The Lies of Handsome Men," to the eye-twinkling "Unpack Your Adjectives," this is a set that I play over and over. You will, too. While this recording might be thought of as old wine in new bottles, the wine is intoxicating. So far, this is one of the best vocal jazz recordings I've heard in 2012. RC
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Eoin Gallagher on January 13, 2013
Format: Audio CD
I was so looking forward to this CD release. I'm a huge fan of Sara Gazarek, owning all all 5 of her CDs. Unfortunately I was a little disappointed by this CD. There were just too many songs I thought weren't well suited for her. Too many songs I thought were only "okay".

Most of the "okay" songs weren't because of Sara. In just about every song, I think her singing is top notch. And, as always, Josh Nelson really shines. I'm rarely disappointed by him. To me, some of the arrangements just weren't fun to listen to. In others, the drums and/or bass were just lacking. I personally wish there were more pure jazz songs, but I'm rating purely on the quality of the songs present, not the song selection.

That said -- here's a more detailed track-by-track review:

1. Everything I've Got -- This is a classy, up-beat jazz song from the Rodgers and Hart musical By Jupiter. I wish everything Sara sang were like this. Josh Nelson has some supurb comping, too.

2. Blosom & Bee -- The title track. When I heard the first few seconds I wasn't sure if it was going to work. Then I heard John Pizarelli start singing, and I knew it would work. It's got a pleasant lull to it, and although not quite as jazzy as I like, it's a pretty catch tune. The harmonica solo certainly helps, too.

3. Fly Away Birdie -- For some reason, which I can't quite nail down, this track doesn't do it for me. It's a nice slow, ballad, with Joshn Nelson on the organ. It's got a nice gospel feel to it, but some things just don't seem to click. Maybe it's the drums I don't like. Maybe it's just too slow.

4. The Luckiest -- This is one of Sara's favorite songs on the album. It means a lot to her (she has some of the lyric tattooed on her arm). I love this song too, but not this version.
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