The St. Louis Blues performed by Sidney Bechet in 1932 and the St. Louis Blues performed by Django Reinhardt in 1935 are similar in some ways yet also different in many other ways. Sidney Bechet’s version of St. Louis Blues is played with an arrangement featuring brass instruments, like trumpets and trombones, along with reed instruments, such as saxophones. This collaboration contained many different background components during the big band section of the arrangement before the improvisations begin. The main rhythm is set by one trumpet with other brass instruments and reed instruments playing slightly different melodies in the background. The entire melody of the piece has a depressing feel to me. When the improvisations play, even they are somewhat depressing, beginning fast, but ending in lower, slower pitches. The trumpet acts as a wake-up call to me because it plays a high, loud pitch on its solo out of nowhere. This depressing feel could be due to the Great Depression that continued to rage through America at that time.
The 1935 Reinhardt version of St. Louis Blues is much different than the piece recorded just three years earlier. This piece features string instruments, like guitars and violins, instead of brass and reed instruments. The beginning of the arrangement is slow like the 1932 version, although the main rhythm is set by a guitar picking notes with a background guitar playing chords. The background in this song matches the main rhythm more than the 1932 version, which had the background music playing more of a variety of beats. The tempo picks up halfway through the song and the piece starts getting catchier. To me, this collaboration felt less like a big band than its predecessor. It felt like it was just a couple of music buddies relaxing at home and jamming on their guitars, where as the 1932 piece definitely feels like a big production is being put on.