Duke Ellington & His Orchestra

Nutcracker Suite

PPAN CS8341
Release Notes

• Recorded in: Los Angeles 26 May to 22 June 1960
• Re-mastering by: Kevin Gray & Steve Hoffman

In 1960, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn arranged their own virtuosic adaptation of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Suite” for the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Featuring nine cleverly arranged movements (boasting equally smart titles like “Toot Toot Tootie Toot” and “Sugar Rum Cherry”), it’s the quintessential Ellington blend of wit and sophistication.

It’s amazing how swinging and sexy the Nutcracker Suite can sound.

Stop a second and put on your thinking cap. Duke Ellington plays Tchaikovsky. I play this at my Christmas party every year and you should see my guests groove out to this. It’s amazing how swinging and sexy the Nutcracker Suite can sound. “Sugar Rum Cherry” (Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy) sounds like strip tease music. I was down to my boxer shorts before my mother walked into the living room. In fact I play this long after the holidays have passed.

A Real Gem! Johnny Zhivago