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LISTEN: Mr Sun, “Shovasky’s Transmogrifatron” (from Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite)

Nov 28, 2023


Artist: Mr Sun
Hometown: Portland, Maine / Nashville, Tennessee / Brooklyn, New York
Song: “Shovasky’s Transmogrifatron” (Ballet Snow Scene)
Album: Mr Sun Plays Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite
Release Date: December 1, 2023
Label: Adhyâropa Records

In Their Words: “Everybody’s familiar with the Nutcracker Suite, but there’s this really beautiful recording of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s arrangement of it – it was a really joyful, playful reimagining of this classic piece… It was an easy idea to propose, not fully appreciating the amount of time it would take to do it. Luckily, everyone in the band brings a tremendous skill set to the project.” – Joe K. Walsh, mandolin

“They basically said, ‘We’re gonna take this essential seed of an idea, but we’re gonna play it like us.’ And we’re doing the same thing – we’re playing it like Mr Sun, without doing anything too verbatim. It’s all about being ourselves. That’s the impression you get from Ellington, and that’s a thing we very much are: Ourselves.” – Grant Gordy, guitar

“It sounds simple, ‘Let’s just play this big band arrangement with four stringed instruments.’ In practice it’s been a little more complicated!” – Aidan O’Donnell, bass

“Duke Ellington of course was volcanically creative. He was one of the most creative musicians ever. He was beyond category. Melody, harmony, and rhythm – if you can put those things together in a way that reaches people, it’s gonna be successful in a way that means something.” – Darol Anger, fiddle

Photo Credit: Dylan Ladds
Video Credit: Brian Carroll, Dos Gatos Filmworks

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