The Nutcracker Suites
Tchaikovsky & Ellington/Strayhorn: The Nutcracker Suites—Harmonie Ensemble, New York/Steven Richman (Harm Mundi 907493)
For Rob Grier, host of WCLV's All Night show, this was his favorite disc from 2013: "I’ve always loved The Nutcracker & my Dad had the Ellington/Strayhorn arrangements when I was a kid. That album (yes, album!) was awesome!"
Steven Richman and his Harmonie Ensemble/New York swing in the holiday season with a twist, pairing Tchaikovsky's original 1892 Nutcracker Suite with a 1960 jazz adaptation by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. The idea for combining the two Nutcrackers came about when trombonist Art Baron, who had played with Duke Ellington, introduced Steven Richman to a 1960 recording of the Nutcracker Suite in Ellington and Billy Strayhorn's jazz arrangement. Richman loved it, and immediately decided he had to perform it side-by-side with Tchaikovsky's original.
Originally featured Tue 12/10, Thu 12/19