Saturday Single No. 508

I’m here only briefly today, as I’m due at my mom’s storage unit this morning for another session of sorting things, some of which my sister or I might decide to keep and most of which we’ll shuttle off to somewhere else (either the trash or an antique shop, I would guess).

So I took a quick look in the digital files to see if there was anything there that was recorded on September 3. And there was at least one. There might have been more than that, but I stopped on the first one because “Midriff,” recorded in Hollywood on September 3, 1946, by Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra, suited me just fine. Written by Billy Strayhorn, the track was released on the Swing label. (At least I think this was the version recorded on that date and released on Swing; Ellington and his band recorded the tune several times.)

No, I don’t know why it’s titled “Midriff.” I doubt it has anything to do with anyone’s tummy; instead, I’d guess it might be about a musical riff being stopped midway. I don’t hear that when I’m listening, but I am listening with ears less accustomed to big band jazz than they are to blues, rock and country. In any case, “Midriff” is a fine piece of work, and it’s today’s Saturday Single.

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