“In A Sentimental Mood” is a ballad written by Duke Ellington. It was composed in 1935 and he recorded it with his orchestra that same year.  Lyrics were later written by Irving Mills and Manny Kurtz. This tune is most often played in F Major, with the bridge moving to Db Major.

 

Duke said the tune was written 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.”
The most popular version of this tune is arguably the rendition done with John Coltrane on the “Duke Ellington and John Coltrane” album and “Coltrane For Lovers”.

Play Along

Videos to learn the melody/changes