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Mr Sun Plays Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite

by Mr Sun

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Overture 05:13
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Entr'acte 01:43
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about

American Roots Music thrives on growing new branches from its grand traditions, and the band Mr Sun, and its individual members, have long been actively re-shaping the acoustic musical landscape. For Mr Sun’s tenth anniversary, this celebrated company of virtuoso string players has reinterpreted the legendary Ellington/Strayhorn Nutcracker Suite, bringing this monumental reimagining of the iconic Tchaikovsky piece into the acoustic string band world.

Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite contains some of the most beloved and familiar melodies in the Western world. Mr Sun has seized upon the inspiration of Duke Ellington’s brilliant, sly, and urbane re-interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s Suite, recorded in 1960 to universal acclaim. Mr Sun took the opportunity to salute and re-invent this wildly multi-faceted work anew through the lens of the American String Band, a musical format which encompasses myriad styles and is engaged in a marathon upheaval of innovation and expansion. In Mr Sun's new reading, the pieces of the Suite range from close interpretations of Billy Strayhorn’s original charts to intense extrapolations based on the spirit of the material.

Mr Sun is legendary fiddler Darol Anger (founding member of the hugely influential David Grisman Quintet, Turtle Island String Quartet) mandolin master Joe K. Walsh (Joy Kills Sorrow, the Gibson Brothers, Danny Barnes), guitar hero Grant Gordy (David Grisman Quintet, Karen Casey, Danny Barnes) and the great bassist Aidan O’Donnell (Maeve Gilchrist, Steve Kuhn).

Their studio of choice was a state-of-the art recording facility built by the Mass/MOCA Art Museum. The recording engineer was the legendary David Sinko, who recorded most of the most important, innovative acoustic string bands of the last 40 years. Mr Sun will premiere the work at the Freshgrass Festival at Mass/MOCA in September of 2023, concurrent with the release of their recording on Adhyâropa Records. The Project was generously underwritten by the Freshgrass Foundation.

credits

released December 1, 2023

Darol Anger, fiddle
Joe Walsh, mandolin
Grant Gordy, guitar
Aidan O'Donnell, bass

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Mr Sun Nashville, Tennessee

Mr Sun comprises three generations of some of the sharpest minds to apply themselves to the American String Band: Legendary fiddler Darol Anger, Joe K. Walsh—one of the foremost contemporary mandolinists, Grant Gordy—a standout in the crowded field of Acoustic Guitar Wunderkinds, and masterful bassist Aidan O'Donnell, is a Brooklyn, New York (by way of Scotland) jazz veteran. ... more

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