The song of the day for Friday, September 18, 2020, is “It Don’t Mean A Thing.”
About This Song
Duke Ellington wrote “It Don’t Mean a Thing” in 1931, lyrics are attributed to Irving Mills. It was one of the first songs to use the word “swing” in the title and this song certainly defined what it meant to swing. Ellington recorded the song with Ivie Anderson on vocals and it was an immediate hit. It has been widely recorded since it was written and the song is a lot of fun to play and to listen to. Significant recordings include those by Louis Armstrong, Django Reinhardt, Gigi Gryce, Tony Bennett, and Thelonious Monk.
About This Version
Tony Bennett recorded this version of “It Don’t Mean a Thing” in 1999 for the album Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool. The terrific arrangement is by Ralph Burns.
“It Don’t Mean A Thing,” as well as Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool, is available from Apple Music.
I just got the vinyl LP of The Great Summit, which brought Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong together for the first time. I can’t get enough of their recording of this song, in large part because it includes the verse.