Duke Ellington Band: “Blue Pepper (Far East Of The Blues)”.
From: Duke Ellington’s Far East Suite, originally recorded in December 1966, reissued 2000 or thereabouts with additional alternate tracks.
The album was the result of the Ellington band’s trip through the Near, Middle and Far East in 1963. This was a State Department tour (just wondering: whom does the State Department send there these days?) with stops in Amman, Kabul, New Delhi, Ceylon, Tehran, Madras, Bombay, Baghdad and Ankara. The concerts in Istanbul, Nicosia, Cairo, Alexandria, Athens and Thessalonica were indefinitely postponed following the news of president Kennedy’s assassination. In Baghdad the group just arrived in time for a military coup.
The piece “Ad Lib on Nippon”, also contained on this album, was inspired by Ellington’s 1964 tour to Japan.
Duke Ellington, piano
Harry Carney, Russel Procope, Johnny Hodges, Jimmy Hamilton, Paul Gonsalves, reeds
Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors, trombones
Cootie Williams, William “Cat” Anderson, Mercer Ellington, Herbie Jones, trumpets
John Lamb, bass
Rufus Jones, drums