The song of the day for Saturday, July 5, 2014 is “Sophisticated Lady.”
About This Song
“Sophisticated Lady” is likely the most well-recognized of Duke Ellington songs. Ellington wrote the song in 1933 and it remains popular to this day. When Ellington first met Billy Strayhorn, he asked young Strayhorn to play something on the piano and Strayhorn chose “Sophisticated Lady.” It ranks 31st on the jazzstandards.com and has been widely recorded, including many times by Ellington. Other notable recordings include those by Art Tatum, Billy Eckstine, Charles Mingus and Billie Holiday.
About This Version
Tony Bennett first recorded “Sophisticated Lady” in 1960 for his album Alone Together. Today’s version, however, is from his 1999 Ellington album Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool, released in conjunction with the 100 year anniversary of Ellington’s birth. This version was arranged by Jorge Calandrelli and features the always-excellent guitar of Gray Sargent and Joel Smirnoff on violin.
“Sophisticated Lady,” as well as the album Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool, is available from iTunes.
Today’s video is Duke Ellington and His Orchestra, featuring Harry Carney on tenor sax, performing “Sophisticated Lady” in Copenhagen.