Jazz pianist Lee Shaw is experiencing a career renaissance past her 80th birthday. A refined and intimate performer on her instrument, Shaw is not only reaping the rewards of her mature sound and voicings, but she is adding new material to a repertoire that is already quite expansive. With bassist Rich Syracuse and drummer Jeff Siegel, Shaw is building on the estimable reputation on her previous excellent CD Live in Graz with this marvelous set of original compositions from her and her bandmates. She displays an ease and grace you would naturally expect on the simply beautiful title track, where you can clearly hear the "sound" of a flower slowly opening via her lustrous piano musings and Siegel's cymbal washes leading to an open-ended waltz. "Holiday" has that bouncy and jaunty Latin regalia, while "Aldo Triste" is a straitlaced, nine-minute, Zen-quality bossa nova, and "Nipper's Dream" is samba light, all cool and refreshing. Where the deeper "Blues 11" in parallel to "My Man's Gone Now" and a romping, hard swinging cover of Fats Navarro's "Fats Blues" are added for contrast, Shaw's initially polite version of Johnny Guarnieri's "Virtuoso Rag" with its varying, then explosive tempi, really rams the point home that Shaw is not satisfied with conventional texts or rote reads of familiar standards. Syracuse also contributes music aside his steady, reliable bass playing as the bright, upbeat bopper "Cool Jack" and the mainly bass/drums workout "Sleeper" conveys, while Siegel's extended "Shifting Sands" is a simple, nice, lingering waltz.
The material on this studio date is completely different from Live in Graz, though the trio remains the same, indicating Lee Shaw has much more left in the tank to draw upon on any given enchanted evening. Blossom, as the previous effort, comes highly recommended to those who enjoy witty, well-rendered jazz that has no need for bluster or boisterousness.
|Blossom / Lee Shaw||Lee Shaw / The Lee Shaw Trio||5:27|
|Fat's Blues||Lee Shaw / The Lee Shaw Trio||4:32|
|Blues 11 / Lee Shaw||Lee Shaw / The Lee Shaw Trio||5:49|
|Holiday / Lee Shaw||Lee Shaw / The Lee Shaw Trio||4:36|
|Algo Triste / Lee Shaw||Lee Shaw / The Lee Shaw Trio||8:42|
|Cool Jack / Rich Syracuse||Lee Shaw / The Lee Shaw Trio||4:13|
|Sleeper / Rich Syracuse||Lee Shaw / The Lee Shaw Trio||4:42|
|Shifting Sands||Lee Shaw / The Lee Shaw Trio||7:43|
|Virtuoso Rag / Johnny Guarnieri||Lee Shaw / The Lee Shaw Trio||2:50|
|Nipper's Dream / Lee Shaw||Lee Shaw / The Lee Shaw Trio||6:51|