Lou Rawls

Seasons 4 U

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Lou Rawls was 62 when he recorded Seasons 4 You in 1998, and it was obvious that his voice had held up quite well. The Chicagoan's impressive range was still there, along with plenty of charisma and soul. Based around the theme of seasons and weather, this collection of pop, jazz and R&B finds the veteran singer turning his attention to a variety of familiar songs with likable results. Rawls goes the acoustic jazz route on Nat King Cole's hit "Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer" and the often-recorded standards "Summertime," "Autumn Leaves" and "Blue Skies," but he has more of a pop outlook on interpretations of the Byrds' "Turn! Turn! Turn!" and the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun," which becomes a very slow ballad. Although it has a lot going for it, Seasons 4 You doesn't quite fall into the essential category -- it isn't a CD one should choose over his 1960s work on Capitol, his Philly soul output for Philadelphia International in the late 1970s, or 1989's At Last on Blue Note. Nonetheless, this is a tasteful and enjoyable effort that Rawls' devoted fans will want.

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