West Side Story: Oscar Peterson Trio Soundtrack, Import
What more can be said about West Side Story? With music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim it would be a contender for most people's vote for best musical of all time. To own a copy of the sublime music you should first have the original film soundtrack but after that it is worth exploring the alternatives. One such is the album by the Oscar Peterson Trio (Peterson on piano, Ed Thigpen on drums and the ever-present Ray Brown on bass) which interprets seven of the songs in a jazz setting. You do not get "America" or "Cool" but you do get a stunning "Jet Song", where the Trio interplay as only a top notch trio can. Also included are the classics "Somewhere", "Tonight", "I Feel Pretty" and "Maria". What is lost by the absence of vocals is more than made up for by Peterson's trademark subdued swing. --Phil Brett
His arrangements and phrasing are a work of art!
The freshness and brilliance has not been lost. The Jet Song is so tight utilizing tradeoffs with Ray Brown (maybe the best bass player ever?) is incredible.
The idea of reworking these songs in a jazz format was brilliant. As another reviewer noted, even if you aren't drawn to jazz this CD is worth having.