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Far East Suite

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Album Review

Duke Ellington could have been forgiven if, by the time he was 67, he had gradually lost his creative desire not to mention his writing skills. But his genius never dimmed as witness the new music ("The Far East Suite" and "Ad Lib on Nippon") on this superb set. "The Far East Suite" is in reality eight separate compositions of which the beautiful "Isfahan" (a memorable Johnny Hodges feature) became the best-known melody; Paul Gonsalves and Jimmy Hamilton are also among the main stars with the clarinetist being showcased throughout "Ad Lib on Nippon." But it is the writing of Ellington and Strayhorn in their late prime that makes this one of his more memorable recordings.

Biography

Born: 29 April 1899 in Washington D.C.

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

Duke Ellington was the most important composer in the history of jazz as well as being a bandleader who held his large group together continuously for almost 50 years. The two aspects of his career were related; Ellington used his band as a musical laboratory for his new compositions and shaped his writing specifically to showcase the talents of his bandmembers, many of whom remained with him for long periods. Ellington also wrote film scores and stage musicals, and several of his instrumental works...
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