Jazz In Bloom: May Flowers

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Flowers. i i
iStockphoto.com
Flowers.
iStockphoto.com

Everyone knows the expression, "April showers bring May flowers." The beauty of flowers inspires songs of color, happiness, love, and passion, with a hint of the summer yet to come. In honor of the season, here's a small bouquet of jazz with a floral flair.

Jazz In Bloom: May Flowers

Cover for A Paris...

Jacky Terrasson

  • Album: A Paris...
  • Song: La Vie en Rose

While the title doesn't refer to roses ("rose" is French for "pink"), this song would provide an ideal soundtrack for a stroll through a Parisian park full of flowers. This jaunty take on "La Vie en Rose" is a far cry from Edith Piaf's signature version. Terrasson is featured here on piano and Fender Rhodes, and joined by percussionist Minino Garay.

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Song
La Vie en Rose
Album
A Paris...
Artist
Jacky Terrasson
Label
Blue Note

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Fats Waller

Fats Waller

  • Album: Greatest Hits [RCA]
  • Song: Honeysuckle Rose

"Honeysuckle Rose" is one of legendary stride pianist Fats Waller's best-known compositions. It's bright, bouncy, and free of thorns.

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Song
Honeysuckle Rose
Album
Greatest Hits [RCA]
Artist
Fats Waller
Label
RCA
Released
1929

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Astrud Gilberto

Astrud Gilberto

  • Album: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Astrud Gilberto
  • Song: Misty Roses

Astrud Gilberto detoured slightly from her bossa nova roots in 1967 to record a contemporary American song. "Misty Roses" was also recorded by Bobby Darin and the Four Freshmen, among others.

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Song
Misty Roses
Album
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Astrud Gilberto
Artist
Astrud Gilberto
Label
Hip-O
Released
2005

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Cover for Flirting With Twilight

Kurt Elling

  • Album: Flirting With Twilight
  • Song: Orange Blossoms in Summertime

Modern vocal master Kurt Elling wrote the lyrics for this ballad, originally an instrumental written and recorded by bassist Curtis Lundy. It sounds like a lazy summer day.

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Song
Orange Blossoms in Summertime
Album
Flirting With Twilight
Artist
Kurt Elling
Label
Blue Note
Released
2001

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Billy Strayhorn

Billy Strayhorn

  • Album: Lush Life [Red Baron]
  • Song: Passion Flower

This beautiful big-band ballad was recorded live at New York's Basin Street East in 1964. Billy Strayhorn's Orchestra is accompanied by the sound of clinking dishes, while Johnny Hodges' expressive sax evokes the image of an unfolding flower.

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Song
Passion Flower
Album
Lush Life
Artist
Billy Strayhorn
Label
Red Baron
Released
1964

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