The song of the day for Tuesday, August 6, 2013 is “In A Mellow Tone.”
About This Song
“In A Mellow Tone” (sometimes known by “In A Mellotone”) was written in 1939 by Duke Ellington with lyrics by Milt Gabler. Ellington used a chord progression from the 1917 “Rose Room” by Art Hickman and Harry Williams as a starting point for his composition, a not uncommon practice for jazz compositions. It wasn’t until the mid-1950s that this song began to be played by other jazz groups and it has remained popular ever since. The original Ellington recording was made in 1940 and featured Cootie Williams’ trumpet.
About This Version
Today’s song is from Tony Bennett’s 1999 album Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool. While most of the album features some great big band sounds, this particular song is just the Ralph Sharon Quartet: with Sharon on piano, Paul Langosch on bass, Clayton Cameron on drums and Gray Sargent on guitar. Sargent’s guitar and Langosch’s bass are especially effective on this recording.
Cool as it can be, this song never fails to deliver on the promise of a hip and mellow tone in a superb performance.
“In A Mellow Tone,” as well as the Bennett Sings Ellington Hot & Cool album, is available from iTunes.