Carnegie Hall by night
Dance No 3 (Liberian Suite)
The third part from the Carnegie Hall concert on December 26, 1947 introduces the Liberian Suite, an extended work, commemorating the establishment of the first independent African republic a century earlier. Ellington had been commissioned by the Liberian gouvernement to write this piece of music for the 100th anniversary celebrations. The suite consists of six parts: I Like The Sunrise and Dances no 1-5. It had been recorded a couple of days before for Columbia. According to available information it was recorded three times only, the performance on December 27, being the third one. I Like Sunrise is the opening number, sung by Al Hibbler in his typical manner. It is probably the part of the suite that has become most popular by other artists and maybe also Dance no 3, which has an alternative title, which does not come into mind right now. Dance no 2 however has an alternative title, Tri-Bop, on which the main solosists are Jimmy Hamilton on clarinet and Tyree Glenn on vibes. Ray Nance is the only soloist in Dance no 3 and Sonny Greer gets the opportunity to make some thunder on Dance number 4. The concluding number of the suite Dance no 5, lets us hear several band members, particularly Oscar Pettiford and Junior Raglin.
This part of the concert ends with Theme Medley, which in this case means East St Louis Toodle-Oo, Echoes Of Harlem and Things Ain’t What They Used To Be. Which tunes are regarded as themes is open to question.
To be continued…..