A golden nugget shining brightly !!!
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 11/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sammy Davis, Jr. and Count Basie make a formidable team: they work well together on this album to produce a great performance. Quincy Jones wrote the musical arrangements on this album and the quality of Quincy's work is abundantly clear. Terrific!
The CD starts with the track "My Shining Hour" as Sammy emotes the way only Sammy could. The jazzy musical arrangement is beautiful. The next song is the romantic ballad "Teach Me Tonight" which is performed flawlessly. It also boasts another killer musical arrangement! SMILES Other classic ballads on this CD include a jazzy rendition of "April In Paris" and the incredibly romantic "You're Nobody 'Till Somebody Loves You." There is the sizzling hot "She's A Woman (W-O-M-A-N);" "The Girl From Ipanema;" and the playful yet very romantic song "Keepin' Out Of Mischief Now."
But there's more. "Work Song" is completely new to me; it is a song about a man who is serving time for a crime he committed. The musical arrangement is beautiful; and the story touches me as well. "Why Try To Change Me Now" is a soulful, slower paced ballad. "New York City Blues" pays tribute to New York City; Sammy sings beautifully and the Count Basie touch enhances the beauty of the song all the more.
The last track offers us something unusual and very pleasant. Sammy asks Basie to play "a little of that buck dance music." Sammy proceeds to tap dance his way through "Bill Basie Won't You Please Come Home" in honor of his father and uncle. Awesome! It works very well. At the end of this number Basie says "It Can't Get No Better Than That." Basie was never more truthful!
The liner notes offer a wonderful essay about Sammy Davis, Jr. written by Quincy Jones shortly after Davis passed away in 1990.
Overall, this CD demonstrates how quality classic jazz should sound. Sammy Davis Jr., Count Basie and Quincy Jones labored long and hard to make this album a reality; and all of us are better off because they shared their talents with us.
Sammy and the count
Nikica Gilic | 07/15/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Davis is probably one of the most talented singers in American popular music, quite often showing significant influence of jazz, just like his pal Sinatra (although I like Sinatra more, Davis is obviously a far better singer).
However this teaming up with Basie's band didn't amount to as much excitement and pleasure: Basie's band is being used as an ordinary back-up orchestra...
This is still great popular music with strong jazz overtones, a real bonanza for Davis fans, but this allbum could have been much better... Frankly, I believe the arranger Quincy Jones is the one most responsible for this sort of concept, with Basie (and, presumably, his band) being quite happy to earn some money without much effort."
This is absolutely wonderful!
David J. Huber | New York, NY United States | 02/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Both were excellent musicians, what more can be said? Except that they work perfectly together in these songs.
Bassie's more-complicated kinds of jazz are a perfect background (but not a boring background-simply-as-background) for Davis' energetic and stylized vocals. I cannot stop picturing Davis dancing around the stage singing these songs, and cannot stop picturing myself in the audience being perfectly entertained.
I only recently came across this record, and when I first listened to it my day became brighter, my step a little lighter, and I felt good about the world.
It's a magnificent snapshot of a time of big jazz bands and showy jazz vocals of the old school, performed by two of its true masters."