In a Sentimental Mood

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"In a Sentimental Mood" – first 9 bars on tenor saxophone

"In a Sentimental Mood" is a jazz composition by Duke Ellington. He composed the piece in 1935 and recorded it with his orchestra during the same year. Lyrics were written by Manny Kurtz; Ellington's manager Irving Mills gave himself a percentage of the publishing,[citation needed] so the song was credited to all three.


According to Ellington, the song was born in Durham, North Carolina. "We had played a big dance in a tobacco warehouse, and afterwards a friend of mine, an executive in the North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company, threw a party for Amy. I was playing piano when another one of our friends had some trouble with two chicks. To pacify them, I composed this there and then, with one chick standing on each side of the piano."[1] The recording featured solos by Otto Hardwicke, Harry Carney, Lawrence Brown, and Rex Stewart.

Ellington recorded a version with John Coltrane which appears on Duke Ellington and John Coltrane (1963) and Coltrane for Lovers (2001). The original was recorded in F major, starting on D minor.[2] But the version Ellington and Coltrane version was performed in D-flat major, mainly from B-flat minor 7th to E-flat minor 7th, and then A-flat 13th to D-flat major 7th, with an interlude in A major.

Other versions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dance, Stanley. The Ellington Era, 1927–1940, Vol. 2 (Media notes). Duke Ellington.
  2. ^ "Jazz Standards Songs and Instrumentals (In a Sentimental Mood)". Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  3. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Soul Purpose". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  4. ^ Dryden, Ken. "Inner Urge". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Gioia, Ted (2012). The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire. New York City: Oxford University Press. pp. 195–196. ISBN 978-0-19-993739-4.
  6. ^ Dryden, Ken. "Reaching for the Moon". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 November 2018.