In honor of the birthday of the great Duke Ellington, who was born on this day in 1899 in Washington D.C., the song of the day for April 29, 2014 is “Mood Indigo.”
About This Song
Duke Ellington wrote “Mood Indigo” in 1930; the song was based on a theme provided by Barney Bigard, who learned it from his New Orleans clarinet teacher. The song was originally titled “Dreamy Blues.” Ellington wrote the song specifically for radio transmission and it was broadcast in October 1930 to great acclaim. His manager, Irving Mills, came up with the lyric and renamed the song to “Mood Indigo.”
The song is one of the great jazz standards. It has been widely recorded by both instrumental and vocal jazz performers, including Charles Mingus, Dinah Washington, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Paul Robeson.
About This Version
Tony Bennett included “Mood Indigo” on his Ellington album, which was released in 1999 on the One Hundredth Centennial of Ellington’s birth. It was arranged and conducted by Jorge Calandrelli; the album was produced by Tony Bennett and Danny Bennett. Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Performance.
“Mood Indigo,” as well as the album Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool, is available from iTunes.