That's All!

Sammy Davis, Jr.

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That's All! Review

by Lindsay Planer

After a two-year hiatus from the Las Vegas casino circuit to appear on Broadway in Golden Boy, Sammy Davis, Jr.'s triumphant return was commissioned by none other than Reprise Records' boss -- one Francis Albert Sinatra. That's All is a living testament to the omni-talented entertainer. On the two-CD set, Rhino Records has retrofitted the original release with a pair of previously unissued performances -- "Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody" and the theme song to My Mother the Car. Parties curious for the sensation of what it must have been like in a major Vegas showroom during the reign of the Rat Pack need look no further than That's All. It becomes clear why Davis became so endearing to not only Sinatra and Dean Martin, but also to anyone who simply loved to be entertained. His versatility is genuine -- as opposed to an actor who tries to sing or vice versa. This allowed for Davis' persona to present amazing hues of intensity without ever losing his irreverent sense of laid-back hip. Examples of the innate sense of timing and dramatic abilities that Davis brandishes are evident throughout. On the Mercer/Arlen standard "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home," as well as throughout the medleys featured on disc one, listeners hear the grace and panache that would set the standard for all the imitations that followed. The various spoken "Monologue" pieces, which comfortably date the performance, are another treat. The political incorrectness in Davis' dialogue is a reminder that, no matter how much things may change, they also remain the same -- such as the immense talent of Sammy Davis, Jr.

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