To perform in Carnegie Hall must surely be the greatest ambition of every artist, regardless of his or her style of music. But it also presents an enormous challenge, because on such an evening 'good' isnt good enough. The artist is not merely expected to perform to his or her usual high standard the evening must be exceptional. Harry Belafonte, the charismatic and highly experienced performer, certainly managed to fulfill such expectations, as is testified to by the present double album, which has retained its place as a best-seller at the top of the charts over many years.
This performance contains three acts, as it were: Afro-American moods, Caribbean songs and excursions into music of the world. Belafonte is in top form and celebrates an exciting, sparkling festival of song, including spontaneous comic interludes, which arise from direct interaction with his enthralled and enthusiastic audience. He is brilliantly supported by Bob Corman and his 47-man orchestra, an ensemble which is reduced to a small combo when the maestro raises his husky voice. It goes without saying that all the favorites are there such as "Jamaica Farewell", "Day-O" and "Mama Look A Boo Boo", making this Carnegie Hall event one of the most mesmerizing live performances of all time, which captures the essence of the performer in his prime (All Music Guide). With this double album you too can sit in the audience and enjoy this great event.
"The granddaddy of all live albums, this double-LP set captured the excitement of a Harry Belafonte concert at the height of his popularity. Sampled from two consecutive performances of identical material, Belafonte at Carnegie Hall was an anomaly at a time when only comedy albums were recorded outside of the studio environment. It wasn't the first live album ever made, but it was certainly the first to be a major financial and artistic success. It stayed on the best-selling album charts for over three years and remained in print until RCA discontinued pressing LPs…" – allmusic.com