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.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow