Sammy Davis, Jr. sings & Laurindo Almeida plays

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Sammy Davis Jr. Sings and Laurindo Almeida Plays is a 1966 studio album by Sammy Davis Jr., accompanied by guitarist Laurindo Almeida.

AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer:
The intimacy inherent in this collection places 1966’s Sammy Davis, Jr. Sings and Laurindo Almeida Plays in a class unto itself. As he had done on the highly conceptual All-Star Spectacular in 1962 and California Suite in 1964, multi-talented entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. has created a unique and thoroughly fascinating outing. The ten selections feature Davis and Brazilian instrumentalist/arranger Laurindo Almeida, who made a name for himself as an accompanist for Carmen Miranda before delving into the decidedly American art form of West Coast cool jazz with saxophonist Bud Shank in the mid-’50s. Here, the pair effortlessly complement each other inside the very intonation and tenor of their respective crafts. Davis’ incisive abilities as an emotive performer bring a pervasive dramatic quality to the wide range of material covered. When compared to fellow Rat Packer Frank Sinatra’s reading of “Here’s That Rainy Day,” Davis’ vocals lean into the song, resulting in a palpable sense of melancholia. He evokes a similar sentiment on the achingly poignant version of Cole Porter’s “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye” as well as the hopelessly optimistic “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows.” However, the real magic woven into this collaboration is without a doubt Davis’ incorporation of several significant Broadway melodies. “Where Is Love” — taken from Lionel Bart’s Oliver — is a stunning, if not mesmerizing, interpretation. “Joey, Joey, Joey” bears an earthy closeness, offering what is arguably a defining moment as the tune transcends its place within the stage production Most Happy Fella, becoming an exceptional and exquisite ballad. [In 2004, Collectors’ Choice Music reissued Sammy Davis, Jr. Sings and Laurindo Almeida Plays as part of the label’s complete restoration of Davis’ 1960s Reprise Records catalog.] (https://goo.gl/CkuXvS).

Track listing:
“Here’s That Rainy Day” (Johnny Burke, Jimmy Van Heusen) – 2:19
“Two Different Worlds” (Al Frisch, Bernie Wayne) – 3:24
“The Shadow of Your Smile” (Johnny Mandel, Paul Francis Webster) – 4:18
“Where Is Love?” (Lionel Bart) – 3:04
“Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye” (Cole Porter) – 4:08
“I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” (Harry Carroll, Joseph McCarthy) – 2:25
“We’ll Be Together Again” (Carl T. Fischer, Frankie Laine) – 3:18
“Joey, Joey, Joey” (Frank Loesser) – 4:23
“The Folks Who Live On the Hill” (Oscar Hammerstein II, Jerome Kern) – 3:50
“Speak Low” (Ogden Nash, Kurt Weill) – 3:35
Bonus Track on CD Reissue

“Misty” (Johnny Burke, Erroll Garner) – 2:19

Personnel:
Sammy Davis Jr. – vocals
Laurindo Almeida – guitar

Released: 1966
Recorded: June 14-15, 1966
Length: 37:03
Label: Reprise
Producer: Jimmy Bowen

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