The tenth volume of Jonzo Records' The Chronological Bing Crosby series covers a period of 12 weeks, from the start of 1932 to the second week in April, when Crosby left New York for his first major tour. The 28-year-old singer couldn't have been busier, and like every untrained singer who has ever undertaken a strenuous schedule, he began to develop nodes on his vocal cords. To avoid an operation, he took time off to rest his voice, and cut back on his singing after that. But he also began singing in his more natural baritone range rather than aiming for tenor territory. As a result, he started to sound like the Bing Crosby listeners were familiar with ever after. One can hear a slight huskiness as early as the first track here, but if anything, the slight vocal alteration contributes to Crosby's naturalness, an important quality in his ascendance beyond the more artificial singers who had preceded him and still competed with him. This collection of 12 songs (six of which are doubled by nearly indistinguishable alternate takes) represents a miscellaneous period in Crosby's recording history, a time when his records had been successful enough that his label, Brunswick, wanted many more of them, but was unable to supply him with much in the way of memorable material. The company was flooding the constricted Depression-era market with Crosby product; only three of these tracks earned chart showings, and none became hits or standards. That's the bad news. The good news is that, if you are a jazz fan, there is much to interest you here, and if you are a Crosby collector, there are several special recordings for you, too. The result is a varied collection that does show off Crosby's versatility, as well as his new, slightly lower and much more comfortable voice.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann