The song of the day for Tuesday, April 1, 2014 is “It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing.”
About This Song
Duke Ellington wrote this song in 1931, with lyrics by Irving Mills. He first recorded it with Ivie Anderson in 1932. The song is notable in that it seems to be the first jazz song with the word “swing” in it, preceding the Swing Era by several years. The song has been widely recorded, including those by Django Reinhardt with Stéphane Grappeilli, Ella Fitzgerald, Gigi Gryce and Tony Bennett. In addition to Bennett’s recording, one of my favorites is the Louis Armstrong recording with Duke Ellington at The Great Summit sessions from 1961, where the seldom-heard verse is sung by Armstrong.
About This Version
This version of “It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing” is from the 1999 album Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool. It features nicely the drumming of Clayton Cameron and guitar from Gray Sargent.
“It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing,” as well as the album Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool, is available from iTunes.