East St. Louis Toodle-Oo

East St. Louis… not a place to get lost, especially for a white boy like me. Duke Ellington must have had some good experiences there, though. Listen to this classic piece of music:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXh4I7HY5h4?rel=0&w=480&h=360]

The plunger-mute wah-wah trumpet is played by Bubber Miley, a pioneer of trumpet tones. Thirty years later the innovative rock band Steely Dan did a cover of the tune, with wah-wah guitar replacing the trumpet:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-al-Emb9TY?rel=0&w=480&h=360]

Here in America, with all its egregious and overly-consumptive faults, we do have rich and varied musical traditions. It’s a shame that oppressive behaviors had to serve as seeds of much of this music!


One comment on “East St. Louis Toodle-Oo

  1. bev says:

    Hmm… interesting to hear both versions!

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