Being a relative latecomer to jazz appreciation, I am often surprised by great songs that I had no idea were standards. One of the earliest was a version of Mood Indigo by legendary B3 artist Jimmy Smith – I played this ‘great song’ over the phone to my mom, who quickly identified it. Wow, was I surprised she knew the song, because I was sure she had no idea who Jimmy was.
One of the purest versions is Thelonious Monks’s awesome remastered version (above video), but I still love Jimmy’s version of this Duke Ellington classic. But you gotta hear some other versions (below) – note that the words are pedestrian, but the tune is aweSOME.
Louis Armstrong singing and playing. Great clarinet too, wow.
Nina Simone singing (and playing) a great upbeat version of Mood Indigo (wow, what a piano player she is!)
The incomparable Ella Fitzgerald makes me not care about the lyrics at all, her voice is so sweet.
Jungle Band (from Ken Burns Jazz)
Here’s even more great versions (iTunes):
- Wynton Marsalis live
- Marian McPartland and Steely Dan (!)
- The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra with Kurt Elling (youtube – Elling is fantastic live! Tour Info)