Duke Ellington and his Orchestra toured Europe in November 1969, a time when Ellington was still at the top of his powers. The new CD is a recording of the whole of an excellent concert held at De Doelen Concert Hall in Rotterdam—a venue famous for its splendid acoustics.
The ambience is remarkable: The audience is audibly enthusiastic and these high spirits clearly influence the band. Duke Ellington and the Orchestra gave two concerts on November 7th, and even though this is the second one, the musicians sound nothing but lively and fresh. Still in a brilliant mood after two concerts, Duke Ellington even played an after-party concert with a quartet—Storyville Records hopes to issue these recordings in the future.
The repertoire includes classics such as “Take the A Train” and “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” rarely heard as swinging as on this day, vigorous and fresh versions of “Kinda Dukish” and “Rockin’ In Rhythm” and the newer 1966 composition “La Plus Belle Africaine”, the centerpiece of the concert.