Sick of the same, tired old songs that the Christmas music station plays? Give Duke Ellington's rendition of the Nutcracker on his Three Suitesalbum a try - I promise you'll love it. I first heard it with my good friend and old roommate Devon at the MSU Jazz Band's Christmas concert...and it was love at first listen! Although Sugar Rum Cherry (Duke's take on the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy) is the most popular track, my special favorite is actually the Overture. Must be the saxophone.
A lot of people don't know that most of the Duke's hits were arranged by Billy Strayhorn, who was a certified music genius. Kris and I randomly caught a documentary about him on PBS (Independent Lens - Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life), and it was quite interesting. I encourage you to check it out!