A dozen Ellington song titles are woven into a idiosyncratic story line, including a great quote of Duke’s, “the melody around me chasing music over, under”. Aubrey Johnson’s solo deeply emanates from the heart and Rob Smith catapults the tenor sax to a new height.
Tonight Mood Indigo
A Tribute to Duke Ellington
The ever present elegance of Ellington,
Lies in his Mellow Tone.
A Sophisticated Lady, walking on by,
Sheds a tear from a Star Crossed Lovers quarrel.
In a Sentimental Mood he feels the Warm Valley below,
Like a Prelude to a Kiss that’s gone astray.
Please Just Squeeze him till he wakes, for he has Got It Bad,
That Mood Indigo, Don’t Mean A Thing.
Not A Mellow Tone, but harsh display,
From the Satin Doll who left him in that way.
So he walks and Takes the a Train south,
And goes to Brooklyn Heights and strolls the promenade.
There a lonely tenor plays his song,
To the wind, from the bridge, way on high.
“The melody around me, chasing music over, under.”
Must he hear that haunting song tonight?
Tonight, Mood Indigo,
Tonight, Tonight, Mood Indigo.
Notes: This song combines ten titles of Duke’s and one of Billy Strayhorn’s
into a story line lyric The lonely tenor is Sonny Rollins, whose famous album
The Bridge, is an account of his practicing on the Brooklyn Bridge near the
promenade in Brooklyn Heights. My first piano duo played in Brooklyn Heights
in the late 60’s where tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson “the Phantom” lived.
Joe surprised us one night when he brought his tenor and sat in with Lester
and I at a Chinese Restaurant located in the Hotel Bossert. It was shortly after
that he invited us to play at Small’s Jazz Club in NY with him.