On this day in 1962, pianist Oscar Peterson began the recording session for his West Side Story album, featuring Ray Brown on bass and Ed Thigpen on drums, and produced by Norman Granz for Verve Records. The album featured seven hits from the acclaimed Leonard Bernstein-Stephen Sondheim musical, all rendered in Peterson’s characteristically bluesy yet extravagant piano style.
“Jet Song” exemplifies Peterson’s knack for finding sentiment in the shadows of a tune. It begins in a stormy hush, darkly hued and cautious. But before long, it segues into a swinging major-keyed blues, full of the kind of whirling flourishes that only Peterson can provide.