Duke Ellington: East St. Louis Toodle-Oo (OKeh)
East St. Louis Toodle-Oo
Duke Ellington (piano)
The OKeh Ellington (Columbia C2K46177)
Rudy Jackson, Prince Robinson (reeds), Fred Guy, (banjo), Henry Edwards, (tuba).
Recorded: New York, March 22, 1927
Rating: 97/100 (learn more)
The quintessential document of Duke’s "jungle music," this 1927 theme was so letter-perfect that Steely Dan paid it groveling homage nearly a half-century later. Bubber Miley’s hot, growling trumpet, the percussive drive of banjo and tuba, and swooning horns form the fabric of one of Ellington’s most memorable tunes. The roots of everything from Cab Calloway to the Art Ensemble of Chicago are audible in this primordial jazz masterpiece. Columbia’s dazzling remastering of such ancient material is a hallmark of digital sound technology; this is probably as close as possible to hearing the Washingtonians live.
Reviewer: Todd S. Jenkins