Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Duke Ellington: Mood Indigo
Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra: “Mood Indigo” [originally released as “Dreamy Blues”] (Victor, 1930)

Ellington’s orchestra had already set itself apart from the contemporary dance-band pack with its elegant work of the late ’20s, but on this recording, cut December 10, 1930, it joined the ranks of the eternals. Arranging a three-part harmony line for high-register muted trombone, mid-range muted trumpet, and low clarinet—against all orchestrational convention—produced an ethereal, almost unearthly sound that remains gripping more than 90 years later. And you can practically see the warm glow of wisdom in Barney Bigard’s clarinet solo. MAC RANDALL

Learn more about “Moon Indigo” on Amazon.