Tchaikovsky Arr. Ellington Nutcracker Suites
Harmonie Ensemble New York

Arguably the greatest American composer of the 20th Century was not Aaron Copland or Leonard Bernstein, or even Bob Dylan, but Duke Ellington. Not only was Ellington the author of a string of remarkable jazz standards, like Take the A Train and Mood Indigo, he even found time to make jazz versions of classical scores. One of the most successful of these adaptations was his Nutcracker Suite, and the eminent New York-based Harmonie Ensemble have just issued a charming recording that pairs marvellously colourful renderings of both Tchaikovsky's original score and Ellington's jaunty gloss.

Review reprinted with permission of Thomas’ Music.