images-2Yesterday at a little group gathering, I was asked what my favorite song was. Immediately I replied “Mood Indigo”.

Most of the company (young and white) hadn’t heard of the song. I was surprised. Duke Ellington, the 20th century’s greatest composer unknown to them.  It struck me as sad. So, this morning, still sad and in my own personal mood indigo, I found myself at the piano playing Duke Ellington’s Mood Indigo and…..

The song was one of Ellington’s earliest, written together with Barney Bigard and Irving Mills back in 1930. It’s the beautiful horn arrangement and, of course the magnificent playing of the Ellington Orchestra and particularly the three three horns up front, that makes this song so special to my ears. Bumba just bangs it out on piano here. But if you like it at all, then check out any of Ellington’s recordings of the song. Ellington is a treasure and your life will be richer for it. Check it out. If you’ve never heard Johnny Hodges and the Ellington Orchestra, check it out. if you’ve heard Ellington before, well, I’ll leave you alone.

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