“I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good” is a jazz standard, and has a certain popular appeal. It has been recorded by a bewildering array of people, including such notables as Louis Armstrong, Marvin Gaye, Charlie Byrd, Donald Byrd, Nat King Cole, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Billie Holliday, Keith Jarrett, Thelonious Monk, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra, and a whole host of others.
It’s practically a who’s who of the Jazz world. The song was originally written by Duke Ellington, with lyrics by Paul Francis Webster, in 1941. The song was then released with Ivie Anderson. It was written for a theatre performance called “Jump For Joy”.
Oscar Peterson was one of Jazz’s great pianists, up there with Thelonius Monk and Ellington himself. The Oscar Peterson Trio which recorded this consisted of Peterson on piano, Ed Thigpen on drums, and Ray Brown on the double bass.
Oscar’s version is instrumental, and feels slower than a lot of other versions. His piano playing is amazing, carving out long motifs before fluttering down. The way he builds and releases tension is so impressive.
The song was released in 1963 on the album Night Train, which although it was full of fairly well worn songs, was very well received because of how excellent the performance by Peterson’s Trio was.