PRH103     Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite

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PRH103     Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite, by Anna Harwell Celenza, illustrated by Don Tate, hardcover

It’s a challenge to transform the “Nutcracker Suite’s” romantic orchestra into jumpin’ jazz melodies, but that’s exactly what Duke Ellington and his collaborator, Billy Strayhorn, did.

Ellington’s band memebers were not so sure that a classical ballet could become a cool-cat jazz number. But Duke and Billy, inspired by their travels and by musical styles past and present, infused the composition with Vegas glitz, Hollywood glamour, and even a little New York jazz.