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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Mailbag: “In Print?”

July 28, 2011

Dear Michael,

I would dearly love to know if there is a printed version available for the last piece played and sung on Program #1129 (the week of July 18,2011).
You said something about a poem with the word Lotus in its title and the piece is titled "Thank You For Everything". I thought the whole program (All That Jazz) was delightful and while I thoroughly enjoy the traditional classic and church vein of most organ music - this was a refreshingly new twist for my listening pleasure. Thank you for all you do to educate us on the king of instruments.




I wish there were an easy answer to this. The recording I used is of Swedish origin (Prophone 021..."Alice Babs: Serenading Duke Ellington").
Ms. Babs had sung at Ellington's funeral at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in 1974, at which time Edmund Anderson approached her with some lyrics he had written ("Thank you for everything"), dedicated to the Duke and set to Billy Strayhorn's organ score "Lotus Blossom". Sometime later, when making this album in 1975, Babs and organist Ulf Wesslén, recorded the song.
I expect, given that the musicians were jazz folk, it was mostly a matter of 'winging it'. I am not aware that a published version exists, but it may...and it leave that to you to explore further (try working with LoisFyfeMusic.com, as they are pretty resourceful, given enough information).
Another approach would be to find the score for Strayhorn's "Lotus Blossom" (which, I believe is in print; Lois Fyfe Music would know), listen again (and again) to the performance as archived under 'Programs' at PIPEDREAMS.ORG and jot down the lyrics, and then superimpose them over "Lotus Blossom".
It IS a lovely thing, and I'm glad you liked it (and the rest of the odd-ball program, to, which was a lot of fun for me to assemble).
I hope that is useful information!




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