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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