The song of the day for Tuesday, November 5, 2013 is “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing).”
About This Song
“It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” was written by Duke Ellington in 1931, with lyrics by Irving Mills. Ellington first recorded the song in 1932 with Ivie Anderson on vocals. It was one of the first songs that used the term “swing” to define what would become the American jazz sound for many years. This song has been widely recorded by both vocal and instrumental jazz performers.
About This Version
The Year of Tony Bennett has been in a Duke Ellington frame of mind all day, due mostly to the Broadway opening of After Midnight, a jazz revue based on the music of the Cotton Club. With a jazz orchestra hand-picked by Wynton Marsalis, a score of some of the best jazz music ever written and, apparently, some breathtaking performances, After Midnight has become an instant hit (you can read Charles Isherwood’s review from the New York Times here). k.d. lang will be featured in the production in February, 2014 as the Special Guest Star. The Year of Tony Bennett regrets the great distance between Portland, Oregon and Manhattan today; we really, really, really want to see this production. Hopefully, there will be an original cast album soon. We’ll keep you posted. You can visit the show’s website here.
After reading the scores of positive reviews of After Midnight, we have been listening to Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot and Cool all day today and chose one of our favorite songs, “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Aint’ Got That Swing),” as the song of the day because it’s too true: it really don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing. Duke Ellington told us so 83 years ago and it’s still true. And always will be.
“It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” as well as the album Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot and Cool, is available from iTunes and Amazon.