The song of the day for Monday, December 29, 2014 is “Sophisticated Lady.”
About This Song
Duke Ellington wrote “Sophisticated Lady” in 1932 as an instrumental. Lyrics were added later by Mitchell Parish. Ellington is said to have been inspired to write this song by two of his grade school teachers, who toured Europe in the summers after teaching all year. ‘To me that spelled sophistication,’ said Ellington. “Sophisticated Lady” was first recorded in 1933 on the flip side with Harold Arlen’s “Stormy Weather.” It is, of course, one of Ellington’s most popular and often-played songs. In addition to numerous recordings by Ellington over the years, the song has been recorded by Art Tatum, Anita O’Day, Billie Holiday, Billy Eckstine, Johnny Hodges, Sarah Vaughan and Glenn Miller.
About This Version
Today’s version is Bennett’s third studio recording of “Sophisticated Lady,” the first two were included on Alone Together and Tony Bennett’s Greatest Hits Volume 7. A fourth version was just released on his album with Lady Gaga, Cheek To Cheek. This version is from his 1999 album Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool, released in the centennial year of Ellington’s birth. This beautiful arrangement features Gray Sargent on guitar and Joel Smirnoff on violin.
“Sophisticated Lady,” as well as Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool, is available from iTunes.