To celebrate the 114th Anniversary of Duke Ellington's birth, The Jazz Show presents one of his true musical masterpieces....The Far East Suite. The music was written by Ellington and his alter-ego Billy Strayhorn after two tours. The first was a tour of the Middle East (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan etc,) and India and Sri Lanka. There followed a second tour to the Far East: (Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong etc. Duke and Strayhorn wrote all the music after these tours and it culminated into a 9 part suite. It was recorded over a period 3 days in December,1966 and became one of Ellington's great recordings. The band was at it's peak and all of the great soloists and players were healthy and playing their best. Paul Gonsalves, Johnny Hodges, Jimmy Hamilton (on clarinet), Harry Carney, Lawrence Brown, Cootie Williams, Cat Anderson and all of the others. The new bassist was the young virtuoso, John Lamb and making his recording debut on this date was the incredible drummer Rufus "Speedy" Jones. There is some magnificent Ellington piano as a bonus as well. Happy Birthday Edward Kennedy Ellington, your music will live forever!