Picks and Pans Review: A Tribute to Bing Crosby: Paramount's Greatest Singer

updated 10/24/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/24/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Mel Tormé

When Crosby sang, someone once noted, he sounded the way other people think they sound in the shower. He was the apotheosis of the relaxed performer, who, long before Sinatra arrived, made singing appear to be an effortless extension of conversation. In this collection, drawn almost exclusively from the crooner's years at Paramount Studios, Tormé pays thoughtful, loving and musically impeccable homage to Der Bingle. There are beautifully arranged, soulful covers of "Moonlight Becomes You" from Road to Morocco, "With Every Breath I Take" from Here Is My Heart, and "Without a Word of Warning" from Two for Tonight—all with fine backing from Tormé regular Donny Osborne on drums, tenor saxophonist Ken Peplowski, guitarist Howard Alden and trumpeter Randy Sandke. However well Tormé does by the slow and contemplative, he seems to enjoy himself most—as will listeners—when he gets to swing, for example, on "Don't Let That Moon Get Away" from Sing, You Sinners. (Concord Jazz)

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