Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Sammy Davis Jr|
I've Gotta Be Me: Best of Reprise
Genres: Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
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A true celebration of Sammy's music and spirit
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 03/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is not only a wonderful collection of 15 terrific songs; it is a true celebration of the life and spirit of the uniquely gifted Sammy Davis, Jr. The story and meaning of this album are told extremely well in the extensive liner notes included with it. All of these recordings were made under Frank Sinatra's Reprise label in the early 1960s, a decade in which popular music celebrated communal living and shared nonconformity rather than individualism. Sammy's message of empowerment, truth to oneself, and triumph over all the obstacles in one's path are thus much more significant when viewed in this light. Sammy overcame tremendous roadblocks on his way to success: born a poor, black child in a white society, Sammy was battling and overcoming racism long before Martin Luther King brought the issue of civil rights to the forefront; his conversion to Judaism only increased the prejudice he had to overcome in life. This is a man whose loss of one eye in a tragic auto accident sidelined him only a few weeks. Having pushing himself to achieve everything he set out to do, remaining true to himself all the while, he made himself a source of great inspiration to those of us who came after him. Sammy made a number of mistakes along the way, as he freely admitted, but he overcame even these self-imposed obstacles and truly lived every day of his life. This collection of life-affirming songs is truly one of the best Sammy CDs I have found. Many of these songs are actually show tunes from such Broadway productions as Stop the World-I Want To Get Off, Oliver, The Roar of the Greasepaint-The Smell of the Crowd, and Golden Boy. "Yes I can" was Sammy's mantra, and as such this song best summarizes the spirit of this collection. Once in a Lifetime is filled with energy, encouragement, and self-realization, as is the gospel-based Gonna Build a Mountain. What Kind of Fool Am I? comes off not as a self-deprecating song of regret but as a beacon of self-realization and self-improvement. I've Gotta Be Me will forever stand as an anthem for those who refuse to subjugate their individualism to the fickle whims of the crowd. Any thoughts of brashness or inflated egotism on Sammy's part are beautifully banished by such tunes as Who Can I Turn To, Lush Life, As Long As She Needs Me, I Want To Be With You, and The Shelter of Your Arms. One particularly noteworthy track is Here's That Rainy Day, which comes from Sammy's album of songs performed to the accompaniment of the amazing Laurindo Almeida's guitar and nothing else. Stranger in Town is a wonderful jazz song written by Mel Torme. If I Ruled the World is the perfect way in which to end this album of diverse yet meaningfully related songs. Sammy wasn't just an incredible singer and performer; his songs meant something, and the upbeat message of Sammy's music and life is a continuous source of inspiration and great pleasure to myself and to all those devoted to this man who showed us how to live life to the fullest, stand up for one's self, and, when encountering criticism, work even harder to prove the critics wrong. Sammy truly was the greatest entertainer to ever live, as this CD does much to prove."
Whether I'm Right, Whether I'm Wrong
David Bradley | Sterling, VA USA | 05/29/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This, I imagine, is what Vegas sounded like in the years when Vegas was really VEGAS. It's whiskey-and-cigarette two a.m. music at it's most dramatic."Lush Life" meanders a bit, but "A Stranger In Town" begins to pick up the pace, and Davis begins to pull out the stops on "What Kind Of Fool Am I." "I've Gotta Be Me" is an absolute masterpiece, a powerful cry of self-impowerment that is as stirring today as it was upon it's release. Is it a tad over-dramatic? Maybe--after all, it's a Broadway tune. But, for those of us who got downright nauseous listening to "Candy Man" four million times, "I've Gotta Be Me" is a revelation, a vocal so big and full of life that it just can't be overlooked. It's old-style Hollywood, old-time Vegas.By the way--anybody else remember watching Davis shoot his six-guns on the old Merv Griffin show? That was great stuff."
Buy This CD
David Bradley | 02/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Whether you are new to Mr. *D* or an old fan, you will find "I've Gotta Be Me: The Best of Sammy Davis, Jr. on Reprise" as Sammy's best work.
First the sound quality is very good, something that is somewhat lacking on the live CDs. Second the time and effort that Sammy and his orchestrators put into this great work is obvious. Sammy's timing, his heartfelt vocals, and emotions pour out in all its glory. To say it's a first rate performance is an understatement.
The selection of songs is wonderful-- from Billy Strayhorn's sad and depressing "Lush Life", to Lee Adam's upbeat "Yes I Can!"
If I was to buy only 1 Sammy CD, this would be it ...with "The Wham of Sam" a close #2."