Composed by Billy Strayhorn (1947)
Performed by Duke Ellington, piano
Trivia: Ellington claimed that Lotus Blossom was the piece Strayhorn most liked hearing him play.
From Ellington's eulogy upon the death of Strayhorn:
...Billy Strayhorn successfully married melody, words, and harmony, equating the fitting with happiness. His greatest virtue, I think, was his honesty, not only to others, but to himself. His listening-hearing self was totally intolerant of his writing-playing self when, or if, any compromise was expected, or considered expedient...He spoke English perfectly and French very well, but condescension did not enter into his mind. He demanded freedom of expression and lived in what we consider the most important and moral of freedoms: freedom from hate, unconditionally; freedom from self-pity (even throughout all the pain and bad news); freedom from fear of possibly doing something that might help another more than it might help himself; and freedom from the kind of pride that could make a man feel he was better than his brother or neighbor.
Another rendition by Charles Lloyd (tenor sax) with Geri Allen (piano)
Marc Johnson (bass), Billy Hart (drums), and John Abercrombie (guitar).
2001 Montreal International Jazz Festival