I Got It Bad (and That Ain’t Good)

3 05 2012

I Got It Bad (and That Ain’t Good)—E.K. Ellington/P.F. Webster, 1941 (Recorded May 3, 2012) This past April 29 was Duke Ellington’s 113th birthday, so I thought I’d cover one of my favorite tunes from one of my favorite musical human beings. Nobody beats the Duke!

The song has a lovely intro verse which I didn’t include here. Look for Ella Fitzgerald’s recording with the Duke Ellington Orchestra to hear it. And, go to Jazzstandards.com for a detailed, fascinating history about this composition and the Ellington revue, Jump for Joy, for which it was written: http://www.jazzstandards.com/compositions-0/igotitbad.htm

As a young’un, before I knew anything much about Ellington, I was a fan of 1960s and ’70s pop/rock (still am). The circa-1969 song by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, “One Less Bell to Answer,” as recorded by The 5th Dimension, was (and still is) a favorite ballad of mine. [CRUSH on Marilyn McCoo!] When I later discovered Ellington, I noticed the Paul Francis Webster line “I end up like I start out, just cryin’ my heart out” in “I Got it Bad…” and realized it seemed to have been nicked by Hal David for “One Less Bell….” Brilliant. (Hal David was the younger brother of Mack David, the famous Tin Pan Alley lyricist who happened to write the words for the Ellington tune, “I’m Just a Lucky So-and-So.” And so-and-so it goes….)

UPDATE: I’ve deleted this recording from my Box.com widget list. It’s crap! When I re-listen to it, I realize it has a fatal flaw. Unlike almost all the other songs I’ve published here, with “I’ve Got It Bad…” I first recorded the ukulele track and then overdubbed my vocal. (The other tunes are mostly recorded “live,” that is, I sing and play simultaneously while recording.) What seems to have happened with this song is that as I was listening to my uke track through the headphones and singing the vocal track, there must have been something about the uke signal that I was not hearing properly, and as a consequence, on playback the whole thing sounds off-kilter to me: out of tune, and rhythmically challenged. I’ll re-record a better version sometime later. The song’s too good for a sub-par rendering.

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