The year is 1973 and the great Maestro Duke Ellington led his world famous orchestra on its final European tour. To collectors and expert listeners alike this performance is a rare document of his final band which includes a few remaining veterans and a healthy sprinkling of young blood who would keep the Ellington flame lit for some time after Duke's passing, as members of the Ellington Orchestra led by his son Mercer. The remarkable thing about this recording is that Ellington, despite being terminally ill, is still playing like a younger man, full of energy and fresh ideas. The material is standard fare, but the music has a certain urgency and abandon that will convince the listener that Duke had much more left to express before leaving the planet.
The concert was produced by George Wein as part of the "Newport to Paris" series, and features special guest pianists Raymond Fol and Claude Bolling, as well as Ellingtonians such as Harry Carney, Russell Procope, Harold Minerve, Johnny Coles, and many more.