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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  • "La Vie en Rose"
  • Album: A Paris...
  • Artist: Jacky Terrasson
  • Label: Blue Note
 
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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  • "Honeysuckle Rose"
  • Album: Greatest Hits [RCA]
  • Artist: Fats Waller
  • Label: RCA
  • Released: 1929
 
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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  • "Misty Roses"
  • Album: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Astrud Gilberto
  • Artist: Astrud Gilberto
  • Label: Hip-O
  • Released: 2005
 
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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  • "Orange Blossoms in Summertime"
  • Album: Flirting With Twilight
  • Artist: Kurt Elling
  • Label: Blue Note
  • Released: 2001
 
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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  • "Passion Flower"
  • Album: Lush Life
  • Artist: Billy Strayhorn
  • Label: Red Baron
  • Released: 1964
 

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