Recorded September 12 & 13, 1957 at WOR Recording Studios, New York City
Mastered at Polygram Studios
#1-12 original LP issue : Give Him The Ooh-La-La (Verve MGV 2081)
#13,14 : previously unissued
Of the six recordings Blossom Dearie did for the Verve label in the '50s, Give Him the Ooh-La-La is the third one to be released on CD. Three titles still remain in the vaults including a Betty Comden and Johnny Green tribute as well as a Broadway Hits collection. It's a shame because Dearie's girlishly dynamic voice, subtle piano playing, and rarified choice of contemporary material made her recordings unique among '50s jazz vocal outings. Give Him the Ooh-La-La is no exception, with stellar backing by regular bassist Ray Brown, drummer Jo Jones and guitarist Herb Ellis, and Dearie's taut arrangements of a set of glowing ballads and brisk swingers. Included are a few well-worn standards like "Just One of Those Things" and "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea." More intriguing, however, are Dearie's inclusion of obscure titles like Cy Coleman's "The Riviera," a tongue and cheek portrait of Europe's playground, as well as his "I Walk a Little Faster." Additionally, there's the gently executed and innocuous self-help number "Try Your Wings," a bouncy "The Middle of Love," and a nod to her club stint in Paris with the French tune "Plus Je T'Embrasse." As usual, both Dearie's piano and voice are instilled with impeccable playfulness on mischievous numbers like the title track and in the tender pathos of ballads such as "Like Someone in Love." Like Dearie's two other available titles Blossom Dearie and Once Upon a Summertime, Give Him the Ooh-La-La features a great collection of tunes from the high point of her recording career. The dilemma is not which recording to get, but where to start.
All Music Guide
Starting from this album, Blossom Dearie shows the first peak of her career in 4 incredible Verve albums. I wrote that Blossom Dearie is not a jazz singer, but a supper club singer. But in these great albums, Dearie is also a great jazz singer in her own way. They are jazzy at the same time that they are pop. Jazzy groovy is mainly made by the wonderful bass played by Ray Brown. But, piano played by Dearie sounds groovier than the other albums of hers. These mixtures of jazz and pop are the appeal of the Verve albums of Dearie.
This album, Give Him The Oh-La-La, may not be the best of 4 great albums, but very close to the best. And the upper mood moving toward the peak is fascinating.
This album starts with very impressive track. Dearie sings only with bass of Ray Brown. This is very cool. There are cute songs like the title tracks. And there are more impressive songs.