Toward the end of his career, Duke Ellington found himself filling up his calendar when home in New York City, with a residence at the famous Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Plaza. This afforded fans to hear a scaled-down version of his Big Band in the form of an Octet, plus occasional added vocalists. On this album we present a rare stereo recording of Duke's Rainbow Room Octet as they were captured playing a private party in New Jersey during the summer of 1968. This is one of only perhaps two issued live recordings of this rare instrumentation, featuring some of Ellington's great sidemen, such as Johnny Hodges, Lawrence Brown, Paul Gonsalves, Cat Anderson, and Harry Carney.
Listen closely as Duke has fun bantering with his band and the fans as well, in this very intimate setting, as he performs for a group of cultured enthusiasts, and you will experience some of the most swinging and warm moments ever captured on an Ellington recording.