Sammy Davis, Jr.

The Best of Sammy Davis, Jr. [Music Club]

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Though a major talent, Sammy Davis Jr. has been pigeonholed as a Frank Sinatra imitator. Dating mainly from the 1950s, these recordings reveal a wealth of styles that make Davis stand out as unique, though it's true that he seems to pay homage to Sinatra with his repertoire and easy swing--"The Lady is a Tramp" is an example.

But when examining his fantastic no-bounds renditions of "Love Me or Leave Me," "Birth of the Blues," and "That Old Black Magic," the influence of such greats as Ella Fitzgerald and Cab Calloway is just as evident. This is a treasury of great recordings; while the invigorating "Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat" owes nothing to anyone, "Just in Time" consists of at least eight different impersonations, from Mel Torme to Fred Astaire, highlighting Davis's vocal talents and his gifts as an mimic.

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