- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 12, 2006

If you’ve never known “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” to be slightly salacious or felt compelled to snap your fingers to “Waltz of the Flowers,” you clearly have never heard Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s 1960 jazz adaptation of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite.” (Their revised song titles — “Sugar Rum Cherry” and “Danse of the Floreadores” — illustrate just how playful they were in their reinterpretation.) This evening at Blues Alley, Washingtonians can experience this lively reworking, presented by the Eric Felten Jazz Orchestra. Though Mr. Felten did not grow up in the District like Mr. Ellington, he has made a name for himself here for his big-band renditions of swing-era tunes, a torch passed on by his grandfather, swing-era trombonist Lester Felten. Shows are at 8 and 10 p.m. at 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at www.bluesalley.com or reserved by calling 202/337-4141.

— Jenny Mayo

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