Duke Ellington - Liberian Suite (Independance jazz, 1947)

(CBS 20AP 1501).

Liberia was declared a republic in 1847. This west african country has been created by freed american slaves "coming back" to Africa, which represents a unique (and controversial) experience.
To celebrate the centennial  in 1947, the liberian government ordered Duke Ellington to compose a suite for the occasion.

Duke Ellington – piano
Shorty Baker, Shelton Hemphill, Al Killian, Francis Williams - trumpet 
Ray Nance - trumpet, violin 
Lawrence Brown, Tyree Glenn - trombone 
Claude Jones - valve trombone
Jimmy Hamilton - clarinet, tenor saxophone
Russell Procope - alto saxophone, clarinet 
Johnny Hodges - alto saxophone 
Al Sears - tenor saxophone 
Harry Carney -  baritone saxophone, vocal (track 1) 
Fred Guy - guitar 
Oscar Pettiford, Junior Raglin - bass 
Sonny Greer - drums

This suite has been perfomed live twice in Carnegie Hall, never in Liberia.
Duke Ellington had a trip to Africa 20 years later, during Senghor's official Festival des Arts Negres in Senegal (1966).