The song of the day for Friday, September 15, 2017 is “Solitude.”
About This Song
Duke Ellington wrote “Solitude” in 1934, with lyrics by Eddie DeLange and Irving Mills added later.
One of his masterpieces, Ellington is said to have written “Solitude” in twenty minutes at the recording session, as they were one number short (Ted Gioia in The Jazz Standards). It’s a very strong song for both vocalists and instrumentalists. Ellington made over a hundred recordings of this song. Other great recordings include those by Paul Robeson, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Billy Eckstine.
About This Version
This may very well be my favorite number from Tony Bennett’s 1962 Carnegie Hall concert. Ralph Sharon did a very nice arrangement with good use of his small string section. I love how softly Bennett starts the song … with just the brushes on the drums and Eddie Costa’s vibe … and he hits the verse hard with the brass … and holds that last note on “love” for quite a while. Just great! Bennett shows us in the concert, and not just with this song but also “I’m Just a Lucky So and So,” that he has a deep feeling for Ellington’s songs, which we see several decades later on Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool.
I am grateful for this recording on Tony Bennett at Carnegie Hall.
“Solitude,” as well as Tony Bennett at Carnegie Hall, is available from iTunes.