The song of the day for Wednesday, October 9, 2013 is “Mood Indigo.”
About This Song
“Mood Indigo” was written in 1930 by Duke Ellington, based a theme by Barney Brigand, a New Orleans jazz clarinet player. Like most Ellington tunes, it was initially introduced as an instrumental. It was immediately popular and lyrics were soon added; the lyrics are formally credited to Irving Mills, but some think that Mitchell Parrish wrote them. The song stands equally tall in the jazz repertoire as both an instrumental and vocal piece.
The song has been widely recorded since it was introduced. In his new book The Jazz Standards, author Al Gioia names the recordings by Ellington (1930), Thelonious Monk (1950), Nina Simone (1957), Charles Mingus (1957) and Duke Ellington and Coleman Hawkins (1962) as especially noteworthy. I would add Bennett’s as well.
About This Version
Today’s version of “Mood Indigo” comes from Tony Bennett’s 1999 Bennett Sings Ellington / Hot & Cool, which won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. The recording was arranged and conducted by Jorge Calandrelli and features Wynton Marsalis on trumpet and Al Grey on trombone.