Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Sammy Davis Jr|
That's All (Dlx)
Genres: Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Listen to Samples
Now you know why they called him Mr. Entertainment
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 03/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's 1965, and Sammy has returned to the famous Sands Hotel in Las Vegas after a two-year hiatus performing Golden Boy on Broadway. This remarkable recording, finally released on CD a few years ago, gives the listener an amazing opportunity to hear Sammy the performer at his best. It is impossible to truly appreciate the magic of Sammy's act without being able to actually watch him perform on stage, but this two-disc live recording is easily the next best thing. Sammy did much more than simply sing songs; he joked, did impersonations, told stories, generally goofed around, whatever it took to make everyone in the audience come under his spell, and it is this extraneous material that makes this recording extra special to Sammy fans. As he told the audience at one point, "if you want to hear me sing serious, you're going to have to buy my records." There are actually surprisingly few show-stoppers to be found here: Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody, The Lady is a Tramp, The Birth of the Blues, As Long As She Needs Me, What Kind of Fool Am I. Instead, you get a fascinating mix of songs hard to find elsewhere. One extraordinary medley of songs, performed to the sole accompaniment of Michael Silva's tom tom drums, includes snippets from such diverse tunes as I've Got You Under My Skin, Dang Me, Big Bad John, The Girl From Ipanema, and Hello Dolly. There's a wonderful Broadway medley consisting of songs such as Lonesome Road, Gonna Build a Mountain, I Want to Be With You (from Golden Boy), and Sammy's first recorded song Hey There. The first CD is most notable for its humor and monologue. Sammy's monologue, in fact, lasts almost ten full minutes and is quite personal and extremely hilarious. Sammy opines on the nature of Las Vegas, engages in a lot of self-deprecating humor about his race and religion, and informs the audience, some ten or fifteen minutes into the show, that the gig is actually being recorded for release as a live album on Sinatra's Reprise records. Disc One ends with a bonus track not included on the album's initial release in the 1960s, Sammy's theme song for the ill-fated Jerry Van Dyke television show My Mother the Car. On Disc Two, Sammy gets down to the business of singing and swinging as only he could do it, but there is still a lot of humor left to unleash upon the audience. Traditionally, the most famous vehicle for Sammy's immensely dead-on impersonations is Rock-A-Bye Your Baby, and it is actually a real treat of sorts to hear him sing this song all the way through in his own voice, but on this night Sammy chose a song written for Fred Astaire but made famous by Frank Sinatra to showcase his impersonation skills. On One For My Baby (And One More For the Road), Sammy impersonates Astaire and, amazingly, Sinatra himself, as well as Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Jimmy Stewart, Carey Grant, W.C. Fields, Marlon Brando, Dean Martin, and Jerry Lewis. No one has ever done Grant, Stewart, and Dino as uncannily as Sam the Man did.This remarkable live recording is really for all the Sammy fans out there. Those unfamiliar with Sammy's personality and unique style of swinging may not warm up to Sammy's antics and may well misinterpret Sammy's frequent jokes about race and religion, although Sammy does make clear to the audience that he is really just making jokes about himself and is in no way trying to invade the privacy of the audience. It doesn't take much of a discerning ear to clearly understand that the live audience is incredibly entertained, eating up every antic Sammy engages in. I love this CD, but it really doesn't showcase Sammy the immaculate singer as much as it does Sammy the world's greatest entertainer. A perfect example of this fact is the next to last track which features over eight minutes of a jam session with Buddy Rich on drums and Sammy on the vibraphone. With George Rhodes conducting the orchestra, the talented Michael Silva on drums, and a guest spot by the world's greatest drummer Buddy Rich, this live show gives us almost 100 minutes of Mr. Entertainment at his most entertaining best."
Sammy is ALL THAT and that's all!
D. Janelle | Stephens City, VA USA | 08/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like another reviewer, this album is a hard-wired childhood memory. It was ostensibly my Mom's record, but my sister and I probably listened to it more that Mom did. After dozens (hundreds?) of listenings, the old vinyl records ended up in a box, never to be seen again, but oh, how those songs remained. Easily 20 years after last hearing Sammy perform these standards, it was his versions from this record I still had in my head. Finding this recording became a quest, and now it's paid off. It's absolutely amazing to me how much of this 2-disc set I could still sing along to after all this time, including all the scat riffs. Can you say indelible?But enough about me, how 'bout the record (sorry, this one will *always* be a record to me, even if its on CD). In a word, phenominal. Sammy's range of material is astounding, and he moves between moods and styles with an ease that no performer today can come close to matching. Every song (with the possible exception of the throw-away "My Mother the Car", added for this re-release) is like a gift Sammy gives to the audience. His care in respecting the songs is apparent, even when he's having fun with them (quoth Sammy, during a light-hearted rendition of Rock-a-bye Your Baby, "You wanna hear me sing serious, you're gonna hafta buy my records!"). Towards the end of the same disc, during the "Lonesome Road" medly he manages to shift from a very upbeat sampling of songs to a rendition of "I Want To Be With You" that absolutely breaks your heart. Then two beats later, he's back to cracking jokes. In less talented hands, all this shifting-of-gears would probably be annoying, but in Sammy it comes across as a genuine desire to simply entertain. Listening to Sammy sing these songs is like watching a child pull out and play with each of his most beloved toys. Though he's clearly in love with performing for the crowd, you get the feeling his performance would be every bit as passionate if there were no-one else there. The man was and still is a treasure, truly one of a kind. If you love Sammy, you must have this set. If you've never heard him, (too bad for you), buy this set, listen to it, and come to know why Sammy Davis Jr was one of the greatest all-around entertainers we've ever had. We miss you, Sammy!"
That's All!?! At Last!!!
U. Tillmon | Portland, OR USA | 06/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been looking in vain for this record for years. My father bought the two-album set when it came out in 1967 and I grew up listening to it -- constantly. I was so excited to see it was finally re-released, I ordered two copies immediately (one for my dad!). I love to sing and I have hard-wired memories of the lyrics of many standards from this album alone. I'm sorry -- this is coming off more like a sentimental gush than a proper review. But I just received my copies this morning, listening to it as I write this and am laughing with delight as the memories of the tunes and segues are coming back to me. I'm looking forward to sharing this with my son.However, on the musical tip: I agree; this is a must-have for any Sammy fan; a great intro. The band is happenin', Sammy is in fine voice. I've always felt that he is the most underrated of the infamous "Rat Pack". Incredible voice -- consummate entertainer. This album captures all of that, his humour, improvisation, impressions (dead-on Dean Martin), and the flavor of Vegas in the Swingin' '60s. Many thanks to Rhino, Reprise and everyone else involved in letting this gem shine again!"