The Nutcracker Suite (Duke Ellington album)

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The Nutcracker Suite
The Nutcracker Suite (Duke Ellington album).jpg
Studio album by Duke Ellington
Released 1960
Recorded May 26, 31, June 3, 21–22, 1960
Studio Radio Recorders, Los Angeles
Genre Jazz, Christmas
Label Columbia
CL 1541
Duke Ellington chronology
Blues in Orbit
The Nutcracker Suite
Piano in the Background

The Nutcracker Suite is an album by American pianist, composer and bandleader Duke Ellington recorded for the Columbia label in 1960 featuring jazz interpretations of "The Nutcracker" by Tchaikovsky, arranged by Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.[1] The album was rereleased on CD in 1990 as part of Three Suites along with Ellington's reworking of Grieg's "Peer Gynt Suite" and "Suite Thursday," his tribute to John Steinbeck.[citation needed] The original 1960 cover is notable for the inclusion of Strayhorn's name and picture along with Ellington's.[citation needed]

In 2013, a new recording of the Ellington/Strayhorn Nutcracker Suite, and Tchaikovsky's original Nutcracker Suite, by conductor Steven Richman and Harmonie Ensemble/New York, was released on the Harmonia Mundi label.[citation needed]


The Allmusic review awarded the album 4½ stars.[2]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide 4/5 stars[3]

Track listing[edit]

All compositions by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

  1. "Overture" - 3:22
  2. "Toot Toot Tootie Toot (Dance of the Reed-Pipes)" - 2:30
  3. "Peanut Brittle Brigade [March]" - 4:37
  4. "Sugar Rum Cherry (Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy)" - 3:05
  5. "Entr'acte" - 1:53
  6. "Volga Vouty (Russian Dance)" - 2:52
  7. "Chinoiserie (Chinese Dance)" - 2:50
  8. "Danse of the Floreadores (Waltz of the Flowers)" - 4:04
  9. "Arabesque Cookie (Arabian Dance)" - 5:44

Recorded on May 26 (tracks 1 and 5), May 31 (track 2), June 3 (tracks 4 and 8), 21 (tracks 3 and 7) and 22 (tracks 6 and 9), 1960.



  1. ^ A Duke Ellington Panorama accessed May 27, 2010
  2. ^ a b Allmusic Review accessed May 27, 2010
  3. ^ Swenson, J. (Editor) (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 69. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.