1. Tourist Point Of View
2. Bluebird Of Delhi (Mynah)
5. Mount Harissa
6. Blue Pepper (Far East Of The Blues)
9. Ad Lib On Nippon
Now, back to some more conventional, but not completely, jazz. It is really nice to see Duke Ellington so on top of his game at this age, and this is a pretty great album, in fact it is probably my favourite Duke Ellington album.
The Duke takes inspiration from his trips through the Middle East and Japan to come up with an album which even if it hints at exotica does not make a spectacle of it and therefore avoids making the album into something of a novelty.
It is the music itself and not the exotic flavour that appeals here, Duke is capturing a sense of mood rather than taking musical inspiration (although there is a little bit of that) from his voyages. Sometimes things get particularly interesting such as in Blue Pepper where there is a block rocking beat backgrounding some great orchestra playing.
1. Blue Pepper (Far East Of The Blues)
3. Ad Lib On Nippon
4. Bluebird Of Delhi (Mynah)
The album's title is something of a misnomer, since only one track – "Ad Lib on Nippon", inspired by a 1964 tour of Japan – is strictly speaking concerned with a country in the "Far East". The rest of the music on the album was inspired by a world tour undertaken by Ellington and his orchestra in 1963, which took in Beirut, Amman, Kabul, New Delhi, Sri Lanka, Tehran, Madras, Mumbai, Baghdad, and Cairo (visits to Istanbul, Nicosia, Cairo, Alexandria, Athens, and Thessaloniki were postponed when the news of the assassination of John F. Kennedy reached the tour party).