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The esteemed vocalist's 1959 live concert recording. These two concerts on April 19 and 20, 1959, were benefits for the New Lincoln School and Wiltwyck School, both of which Belafonte championed.
Belafonte was a superstar by the time of these performances, going on to win an Emmy for his solo television show "Tonight with Belafonte" later that year. In addition to his more conventional accompaniment of guitars, bass, drums, congas, and piano, Belafonte was joined on the stage by a 50-piece orchestra. Dividing the performance into three themes, he sang African American songs ("Sylvie" and "Cotton Fields"), Caribbean songs ("Day-O" and "Jamaica Farewell"), and folk songs of the world ("Hava Nageela" and "Danny Boy").
As well as being a frequent Carnegie Hall concertgoer (James Taylor gave him a shout out from the stage during the April 12 gala that celebrated 120 years of the Hall), Belafonte regularly appeared here for years, his most recent performance being part of a 2004 celebration of Haiti's 200th birthday.
's mastery in front of an audience was never better displayed than here, a mastery that resulted in him becoming one of the most popular concert draws in history. From the opening trumpet fanfare and brief orchestral overture to the epic 12-minute version of "Matilda" (which set a standard for audience participation), the album never lets up. It is exciting, poignant, thrilling, intimate, and at times, spontaneously hilarious. Have a seat, sip a beverage and enjoy!
|1. Introduction / Darlin' Cora|
|3. Cotton Fields|
|4. John Henry|
|5. Take My Mother Home|
|6. The Marching Saints|
|7. Day O|
|8. Jamaica Farewell|
|9. Man Piaba|
|10. All My Trials|
|11. Mama Look a Boo Boo|
|12. Come Back Liza|
|13. Man Smart (Woman Smarter)|
|14. Hava Nageela|
|15. Danny Boy|
|16. Merci Bon Dieu (From the Haitian Suite)|
|17. Cu Cu Ru Cu Cu Paloma|