No holiday seems complete without an annual playing of The Nutcracker Suite. If Tchaikovsky were inclined to do any swingin’, he’d be nutty about this version by Shorty Rogers and His Giants from 1960 (released on RCA LSP-2110). Shorty’s arrangements even give the original titles a goodnatured tweak (“Waltz of the Snowflakes” becomes “Snowball,” “Tea Dance” becomes “China Where?”).
Lest we forget, A&M is what we do here, so we always try to find a connection. It’s not hard with Shorty, as he was instrumental (no pun intended) in helping Herb Alpert out on some of A&M’s earliest albums. The earliest being the second album A&M released, George McCurn’s Country Boy Goes To Town (SP-102), which we will feature in the near future.
Forgive the poor cover art and substandard sound quality (this looks like one of those offshored knock-off releases), but I threw together a YouTube playlist of the entire Swingin’ Nutcracker album for your Christmas Eve enjoyment.