The American Jazz Institute/Capri Records Presents Lotus Blossom – a meeting of masters featuring acclaimed pianist Jeff Colella and bassist Putter Smith in intimate duets of unmatched expression.
Only the most sensitive and responsive of musicians can make quietude roar. On their stunning duet album, Lotus Blossom (May 20, 2014, The American Jazz Institute/Capri), two venerated veteran stylists, the pianist Jeff Colella and the bassist Putter Smith, communicate in muted tones that nonetheless pack a punch. Blending exquisite readings of choice standards and jazz originals, the album reasserts the timeless power of spontaneous music-making that places invention above virtuosity, empathy above individual showboating. As imaginative as it is expressive, Lotus Blossomcan take its place with such piano-and-bass masterpieces as Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden’sJasmine, Haden and Hank Jones’s Steal Away, and the vaunted duo recordings of Jimmy Rowles and Ray Brown.
Lotus Blossom has been a long time in coming. Colella – a highly respected West Coast keyboardist who has had significant musical associations with Lou Rawls, Jack Jones and Stacey Rowles – and Smith, a musician’s musician best known for his work with Alan Broadbent, Mose Allison and Mark Masters (and with James Bond fanatics for his role as the assassin, “Mr. Kidd,” in the 1971 film, Diamonds Are Forever) have been playing together informally for the better part of the past two decades. Recent work as a duo at Vibrato, a Bel Air area club, stoked their interest in recording together.