Recorded by Bing Crosby with the Lee Gordon Singers
Arranged by Sy Oliver, Prepared for Publication by Dylan Canterbury, Rob DuBoff, and Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-6070


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement with Solo Vocal and Vocal Group [AATT - Two Female/Two Male]

Description: Swing - Medium

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

Few voices are more associated with the holiday season than the silky smooth baritone of Bing Crosby. While Sy Oliver's arrangement of Looks Like a Cold, Cold Winter adheres to the classic Crosby holiday hit template, it still manages to impart a unique, buoyant feel to the proceedings via a liberal smattering of the techniques Oliver utilized for the Jimmie Lunceford and Tommy Dorsey orchestras.

The 1950 recording of this arrangement often appears on Bing Crosby/Andrews Sisters compilations. This was NOT recorded by the Andrews Sisters: it was recorded by Bing Crosby with the Lee Gordon Singers which consisted of two female and two male singers. Billy May also wrote an arrangement of this same tune in 1950 that Bing performed twice live on radio for the Chesterfield Cigarettes radio show (11/1/50 and 1/10/51).

A quickly tagged intro, complete with sleigh bells, leads into the first melody statement at measure 11. Crosby has the spotlight to himself initially, with the horn accompaniment largely staying out of the way (aside from a sly Silent Night quote in the saxes). The horns drop even further back for the second time through the tune at measure 37, where the vocal group comes in to engage with some playful back-and-forth with Bing.

The instrumental ensemble gets a chance to shine for a bit for half a chorus at measure 69. The muted brass start things off, followed by a short tenor sax solo and a mellow sax soli before the singers return at measure 85. Bing and company lead the listener to the arrangement's conclusion, featuring a quick brass fanfare to provide one last kick.

Some performance notes:

1) Oliver's original arrangement did not have a baritone saxophone part. One has been added to allow for performances with a traditional sax section.

2) There were two minor cuts made for the original recording, likely for time reasons. This publication includes the entire arrangement with notes on what material was cut.

This publication was prepared using the original set of parts from the 1950 recording session as well as Sy Oliver's pencil score - this is not a transcription.


Full Score
Solo Male Vocal
Vocal Group [AATT - Two Female/Two Male]
2 Alto Saxophones
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone (Optional)
3 Trumpets
3 Trombones
Drum Set/Sleigh Bells
Vocal Key: Db
Trumpet 1: C6
Trombones 1 and 2: Bb4