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Second Sacred Concert in Paris Nov. 16, 1969

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When Ellington started his 1969 European tour at the end of October that year, three performances of the ”Second Sacred Concert ” was scheduled, The first one was to take place in Stockholm on November 6, the second in Paris on November 16 and the third one in Barcelona on November 24.

The website has published the full performance of the ”Second Sacred Concert” in the Gustav Vasa Church in Stockholm on November 6, 1969. It was done in two installments – the first one was published on December 8, 2016 and the second on April 27 this year.

Now the website turns to the second performance of the ”Second Sacred Concert” – one in Paris.

After having criss-crossed Europe after the visit to Stockholm, Ellington and the orchestra must have arrived in Paris on November 15 to be fully available for both a rehearsal and the concert in the Church of Saint Sulpice in the 6th arrondissement of Paris on November 16.

The Swingle Singers had been engaged to do the choir part at the concert and Wild Bill Davis was present as well.

Based on NDESOR, it seems that the program in Saint Sulpice was identical to the one in Stockholm except that two numbers were added to the program – ”The Preacher’s Song” sung by Tony Watkins and ”In The Beginning God” with Babs, Watkins and The Swingle Singers.

The website has not been able to locate a film with the full version of the concert but it was certainly filmed and the material used to produce a 40 minutes film. Possibly it was done by a company called Le Service des Variétés or as part of a series with this name.

The film covers about half of what was performed at the concert and includes the following songs: Praise GodThe ShephardHeavenFreedomMeditationTGTT Praise God and Dance.

We are happy to share it here with DESS’ members and our other readers. Unfortunately, the last 3 minutes of the film is missing. Perhaps someone can provide us with a complete version.

It is obviously recorded from one of Philippe Adler’s Jazz 6 programs on the French TV channel M6. His voice is heard in the beginning and in the middle of the film.


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