Our song today finds Duke penning another “train” themed song. As you listen take note at how Duke arranged the music so that you can distinctly hear the sound of the train leaving the station and then the sound of the train pulling back into the station. Suffice to say before air travel became the way to move the organization around Duke spent a significant amount of time moving around on trains and the ability to recreate that experience in music well… that’s what makes Duke Ellington, Duke Ellington.

No sampling needed, just good old imagination coupled with orchestration and arranging skills. That’s not a slight at anyone who uses sampling technology (because I use a fair amount myself) but the challenge is for you to every now and then not turn on the machine and turn on your mind and acquire the skills to be able to create a sonic landscape that mirrors reality. Imagine if all of mama’s meals were from the microwave…

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.