Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Duke Ellington's Second Sacred

this picture is  from another performance of the second sacred concert

I think what I've gathered here, from various sources, is the closest thing to the original broadcast of the Second Sacred Concert in Sweden, unless one of you readers know more about the different versions of this legendary concert.

The concert was performed at the Gustaf Vasa Church of Stockholm, Sweden, on November 6, 1969. The original broadcast (presented here) opens with Meditation, follows by Almighty God Has Those Angels (feat. Alice Babs and Russell Procope), Shepherd Who Watches Over The Night Flock (feat. Cootie Williams), Heaven (feat. Babs and Johnny Hodges), and last but not least Freedom (feat. Babs and Tony Watkins).

It is in Freedom that Ellington shares Billy Strayhorn's principles of freedom with the audience, the principles his deceased collaborator lived with all through his short life. These four principles could be the essence of Ellington's Sacred Concerts, or at least the most "sacred" parts of them:

"Freedom from hate, unconditionally. Freedom from self-pity. Freedom from fear of possibly doing something that may help someone else more than it will him. Freedom from the kind of pride that could make a man feel he’s better than his brother."

Update: Alice Babs passed away on February 11, 2014. R.I.P.

A year before the Stockholm concert...

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