The song of the day for Saturday, July 13, 2013 is “It Don’t Mean a Thing.”
About This Song
Written by the great Duke Ellington in 1931, this song really defines what the Swing era was all about. That said, this song predates the Swing era by several years, but it brought the musician’s term into general usage and was used to define one of the great eras of jazz music. The 1932 recording by Duke Ellington with Ivie Anderson is considered a masterpiece. This song ranks #84 on the jazzstandards.com list, and deservedly so.
About This Version
Tony Bennett swings the hell out of this song, as do his wonderful supporting musicians, especially Clayton Cameron and Gray Sargent.
“It Don’t Mean a Thing,” as well as the entire Tony Bennett Sings Ellington Hot & Cool, is available from iTunes.
And since it’s Saturday and maybe you have a little time to listen to more than one tune, I have a couple for you.
First up is Ivie Anderson, with Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges, recorded live on February 2, 1932:
And another of my favorites: Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong from the Great Summit recorded in 1961. It’s the only time I’ve heard the verse sung for this great song. And the clarinet!