Sammy Davis, Jr.

Sings the Complete Dr. Doolittle

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In what turned out to be their final collaboration, arranger/conductor Marty Paich and Sammy Davis, Jr. recorded what is considered the definitive interpretation of Leslie Bricusse's score to Doctor Doolittle. By all accounts, this 1967 release was an ideal match of composer and artist. Davis' take on Bricusse/Anthony Newley classics "I'm Gonna Build a Mountain," "What Kind of Fool Am I?," "The Joker," and "Look at Her Face" -- among countless others -- provided the vocalist with some of his best-loved and remembered material. Davis documented the collection at Olympic Studios in London, and the facility was perfect for incorporating the full orchestral accompaniment. Davis' animated delivery and uncanny ability as an emotive actor infuse the opening "My Friend the Doctor," "Beautiful Things," and most especially "I've Never Seen Anything Like It" with a palpable sense of drama. This results in the listener being swept up into his performance. The refined and poignant "Something in Your Smile" and the lush "I Think I Like You" are equally affective in Davis' care. He also asserts his renowned versatility and effervescent hipness on the smooth and groovy reading of "Talk to the Animals" at the disc's conclusion. The arrangement could have easily fit as incidental music for Laugh-In, and as such is a mid- to late-'60s time capsule.

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