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Sammy Davis, Jr. sings and Laurindo Almeida plays; that's the simple and amazing basis of this remarkable CD. On June 14 and 15, 1966, Sammy sat down with one incredibly talented guitarist and recorded this album of slow, gentle, moving songs. Sammy could swing and wail like no other, but he was more than anything else a truly blessed singer. There's no Las Vegas atmosphere here, no finger-clicking showstoppers, no adoring fans lavishing him with heartfelt applause, no cutting up in front of the crowd, no Rat Pack escapades or stories. This is just pure music, soft and touching - "all the flim flam diddyway, gone," as Stan Cornyn says in the liner notes. I don't know of very many singers, no matter how talented they are, who would sit down in a studio with one guitarist and just sing; Sammy did it, and the recordings from these sessions not only prove the magnitude of his miraculous voice, they prove his true love for music. Several of these songs are familiar, but rarely have you heard them sung so softly and beautifully. Here's That Rainy Day, having appeared on one of Sammy's greatest hits albums, is a familiar and perfect representative of these songs. Familiar Sammy classics such as The Shadow of Your Smile and We'll Be Together Again, take on whole new meanings in this purest of interpretations. Familiar show tunes such as Where is Love? and Joey, Joey, Joey become elegant pieces of depth and beauty. I'm Always Chasing Rainbows is simply poignant and beautiful, as is Misty (a bonus track from the original recordings). I don't listen to this album as often as I indulge in Sammy's flashier numbers, but it is impossible to describe the simple beauty of this music, stripped to its bare, purest essentials in the form of the amazing Almeida's guitar playing and Sammy's unequalled singing.
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on 9 September 2015
Firstly I've got to say I believe Sammy Davis Jr. to be one of the greatest (if not the Greatest) entertainer of the 20th Century; those who recall Al Jolson at his peak on stage claimed only Sammy could compare to him. I saw Sammy live at his peak in the 1960's and have numerous CDs and DVDs of studio and live performances. But, this is a different Sammy to the one on stage in Las Vegas, this is an album for quiet late night listening. Much more subdued and reflective, here he really shows his quality as a pure ballad singer backed by the sublime guitar of Laurindo Almeida. Recorded some 8 years before the first Ella / Joe Pass album, "Take Love Easy", it is like that album two artists stripped down to the essentials of voice and guitar who could perform like this, without autotune, in your lounge, quiet and intimate. Just to hear the first track "Here's that Rainy Day" sets the scene for a great album; "Two different Worlds" must have had special meaning for Sammy at a time when the USA was racially still divided and he had married the Swedish actress Mai Britt. I had heard "The Shadow of your Smile" and "The Folks who live on the Hill" on an internet station, that made me hunt down this album; an expensive CD yes, but if you are a fan of Sammy it shows a different side to this genius.
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on 23 July 2015
when I was younger my father had a record collection consisting of soundtracks simon and Garfunkel the carpenters john Denver etc.
as you can see easy listening with perhaps burt Bacharach being the biggest influence on my young ears.
this would be around 1976 when I was 12 and the following years my music of choice being new wave and then mod.
tucked away though in the record collection was this LP with a rather stunning sleeve.the minimal amount of guitar and voice going against what a lad of my age was supposed to be listening to.
the more I listened to it though the more I was entrapped in its beauty and simplicity.
39 years have passed and the nostalgia this LP brings me cannot be expressed into mere words.But it is not just that, the music and vocals take you to a place of serenity where the world is at peace with itself and all is fine.
there are not many contemporary albums that can do this but this is certainly one of them.
as you will already have noted I highly recommend this album.
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on 11 February 2009
The song title (the first number on my copy of this album) I quoted in the title gives you an idea about the general mood; although Almeida is famous, among other things, for his Brazilian jazz(bossa nova) innovations, there is only a hint of that on this magnificent CD...

Crossing the genre boundaries, it's a brilliant album of intimate performances by a great singer and a great guitar player... If you like this sort of (maybe unexpected) gems from the Rat Pack, check out Frank Sinatra's album with Antonio Carlos Jobim if you can find it - a more bossa novish outing, but equally satisfying for me Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim ....
BTW; apparently, some editions of this album have "Misty" as a bonus track; mine, unfortunately doesn't, but it's still a great buy nevertheless...
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on 17 March 2009
Perhaps inspired by the Sinatra/Jobim latin jazz success Sammy Davis strayed from his usual hard swinging self, and recorded this beautiful pearl of an album.

Too bad he didn't record more albums like this one.
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on 9 April 2017
A rare gem!
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