I'm not sure you could say Bing Crosby was ever a true modernist, what with his affection for elder modes mixed with an affinity for jazz, but if any of the line of Collectors' Choice reissuances can be said to be his most modern, this is the one. Seasons sparkles with contemporary refrains and orchestral embellishments, compliments of the The Pete Moore Orchestra. One might say there was a very small Vivaldi influence just by virtue of covering the turning of equinoxes in the calendar, but the real raison d' être for this LP appears to have been a celebration of where pop music was heading.
Of course, there's also the fact that this was the last LP Crosby would record, not long before passing on while at one of his favorite activities (golf), and a slab that speaks rather pronouncedly of the here and now. At the ripe old age of 73, his voice was as strong as ever, impossibly so, and the mellow master's timing and indestructible swingliness miss neither beat nor note. Catch his inflection during the reading of Spring will be a Little Late this Year and you'll find it hard not to acclaim him at the peak of his powers.
13 Bonus tracks are appended to the original vinyl roster, 5 of which are poetry readings with light musical backgrounding, 8 more covering such gems as As Time Goes By, Summer Wind, etc. As with the other entries in the series, extensive liner notes inform us that Crosby placed nearly 400 titles on the best-seller charts, more than Elvis and the Beatles combined, and sold more than a billion records. Amid all the revisionist nonsense regarding Michael Jackson, one has to wonder if Der Bingle mightn't have been, viewed in proper symmetry, the greatest recording artist of all time.
Nevertheless, the argument is moot so long as the music is good, and 'good' is hardly a fit term for Crosby's work. Thus, for those not already enamored of the pipe-smoking singer who set the tone for damn near all his time's pop oeuvre and for many years thereafter, I'd say start with this disc and work backwards. The recordings are superbly remastered, the data absorbing, the bonus materials priceless, and the rediscovery worth the time and attention.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles